Owning more than one house or apartment gives you the possibility to choose which one of them you will call home. Also, if you have an unoccupied residence, there are several ways to make use of it. The benefit of an extra income is always appreciated, and one of the most common ways to obtain it is by renting out your property.
Renting out a house or apartment may cause some major unexpected difficulties, but also it can be very lucrative and rewarding in terms of extra income and possible tax benefits.
Converting your home into a rental property is a demanding process, and you, as a future landlord should understand each step of that process. Both you and your home should be prepared for this important undertaking.
Hopefully our suggestions and guidelines will help you better understand your role and responsibility.
Tips on how to prepare your property for rental
– Take time to inspect the whole property before advertising it. Identify all weak spots and try to fix them as soon as possible. Remember that repairing those problems may be a good reason for you to charge more than you have planned initially. Neglecting or postponing your home maintenance may turn into some serious problems with your prospective tenants and cause major repair costs.
– Hire a professional home inspector who will examine your property completely and bring all potential issues to your attention. Go through each room and find out what can be repaired and what should be replaced.
– Think about the rental cost. Compare prices of similar properties in the area and set a competitive price, always pointing out the positive features. Renting out a fully furnished home will allow you to request a higher rental price, but it can be a double-edged sword, since you will have to invest certain amount of money in maintenance and repairs when needed.
– Clean your place inside and out. Make floors and windows sparkle and remove stains from the furniture and appliances. Repainting walls with some neutral color will make your place look fresh, clean and more spacious. Pay special attention to some tricky surfaces like kitchen appliances, cupboards and closets. Also, have your carpets professionally cleaned in order to remove mold and mildew smell as well as stains.
– Decide what you are going to do with the existing furniture and appliances. Are you going to rent out a fully furnished and equipped place? If not, think about what you can do with your goods in order to make more room for your prospective tenant’s personal belongings. If you think that it is more convenient to remove all your goods and rent out an empty apartment, but you also want to keep them in case you need them at some point, consider putting them into a storage unit.
– On the other hand, if you choose to rent out a fully furnished and equipped apartment, everything should be in working order.
– Make the house/apartment look appealing. Tenants always appreciate new appliances, since the old ones waste a lot of energy, which leads to much higher electric bills.
– Tenants will fell more relaxed and comfortable knowing that they are moving into a safe and secured place, so make sure all doors, windows and security systems operate properly.
– Perform a background check on your prospective tenants so as to ensure they will be paying on time every month and that your property will be taken care of and maintained properly. Once you choose the right tenant, establish some ground rules, determine the amount of the security deposit and a payment schedule.