How to prepare your house for tenants
Homeowners put their houses up for rent for a variety of reasons. While you will have to make important decisions that will ultimately determine the level of your success. You must ask yourself, is being a landlord an obligation you can handle? Can you take on the extra responsibilities? You can certainly minimize risks and turn your house into a profitable venture. All hassles can’t be eliminated, but continue reading our tips on how to prepare your house for tenants to help you get started on the right path.
- Inspect your home for functional problems
Thoroughly inspect your home for anything that needs to be replaced and repaired. Address all potential problem areas including plumbing, clogged gutters, and driveway cracks. Inspect the roof for leaks and general integrity. Check all wall switches and electrical outlets for proper function. Ensure smoke detectors are in good working condition. Prepare the yards by mowing, pruning, gardening and weeding as necessary.
- Clean up your home
The level of cleanliness of your home will leave a long lasting impression on a potential tenant that has come to take a look at the place. Nothing will wreck your chances of renting more than a dirty place. Therefore be sure to thoroughly clean your entire home including the walls, floors, windows, and blinds.
- Inspect your home and furnishings for cosmetic problems
If you are renting out your home fully furnished, make sure everything is in good condition and working properly. You can buy slipcovers to freshen up outdated or stained furniture. Be sure to also remove any furnishings you aren’t willing to risk having stolen or damaged. Shampoo the carpets to remove stains. Repaint the walls with a neutral color to make the rooms seem cleaner and brighter. Painting takes a lot of effort and time, if aren’t able to refresh all rooms, at least clean the walls and ceilings and make spot repairs where necessary. If you are providing appliances, ensure they’re clean inside and out.
- List your property for rent
Once the house has been straightened out and is ready to rent, don’t waste any time getting it listed in your local newspaper or with a local real estate agent. Describe your house and list all of its appealing features, such as a washer and dryer and air conditioning. List any upgrades you home may have, such as hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, and granite counter tops. You will also have to determine your listing price at this time. Carefully take your time to compare rental properties in the area to help you figure out your monthly charges.
- Screen potential tenants
One of the most important decisions you will make when renting out your property is the person you put in it. A bad tenant can wreck havoc in your home, cause you lots of stress and financial loss. Don’t underestimate the importance of putting the right person in your home. You need to be able to depend on this person to not only pay the rent on time, but also to take care of your home. Try to pre qualify the tenant over the phone before having them come to see the house. If they met your desirable criteria, take them over to show the house and fill out an application. Don’t forget to gather important information, such as employer name, Social Security number, and references from previous landlords. Make sure they have a favorable credit history, and adequate monthly income.
- Notify your mortgage and insurance providers
Notify your mortgage holder of your intent to rent out your home. It’s important to let them know you won’t be living in the home because your mortgage company has certain rights to the home to protect its security interests. It’s best to switch your homeowner’s insurance policy to a landlord’s property insurance policy. This will cover any losses due to tenant’s negligence, fire or water damage.
- Final steps
Once you have found the right tenant, request a security deposit and establish a payment schedule. Have a real estate attorney draw up a rental lease agreement for landlord and tenant to use.