4 Things You Should Do Before Renting Your House

4 Things You Should Do Before Renting Your House

Renting your house can be an excellent way to start earning additional income. However, it isn’t as simple as posting a listing and awaiting applicants. While it is definitely still a seller’s market, sellers need to do as much as they can to stand out from the crowd. From renovations to making sure the unit is up to housing code, turning your house into a rental property comes with a lot of hard work. Rewarding work, of course, but hard nonetheless. There’s a lot you need to consider beforehand to make sure you can provide a positive service, for both your tenants and yourself.

Have the Property Inspected

This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many landlords and property owners neglect to comb through the basics when they’re preparing to rent out their house. By choosing thorough home inspection services, you’ll get a better grip of what is (and isn’t) up to snuff around your house. Your eyes won’t be able to do all of the work for you, but an inspector will be able to point out any serious issues that would prevent you from leasing the property. They may also be able to refer you to contractors or repairmen to help you take care of any outstanding complications.

The inspection step is likely to open your eyes to flaws that you may not have known existed, or even ones that have started to develop recently. Not only is it of the utmost importance for rental properties to undergo regular inspections, it’s a good practice for any and all homeowners. You should always have a general sense of the state of your house, whether you’re living in it or renting it out.

You should never skip the inspection step unless you’ve recently had the property reviewed. This can prevent you from a wide variety of habitability issues. If it turns out that there are aspects of your house that make it uninhabitable for any reason—think mold, holes in the roof, faulty wiring—these can easily lead to legal issues down the road. Too many property owners think they can sweep these issues under the rug. This isn’t the case and a discerning tenant will easily spot flaws in their rental.

Make the Necessary Improvements

To stay competitive in today’s fierce real estate markets, you need to make sure that your property is up to the standards held by prospective tenants. What amenities do you offer? Is the space modern enough? Are you charging a competitive yet fair amount for rent? These are all important questions that you need to be asking yourself when it comes to renting your house. They can also heavily influence the sorts of individuals who will be interested in viewing your property.

If you’re still rocking some shag carpeting that was in its vogue circa 1975 but you’re charging above the market average, you may find it difficult to find a qualified tenant. However, if the space is clean and renovated while also leveraging the square footage to its maximum potential, it’ll be much easier. This is where home improvement services will come into play.

Think of what your prospective tenants are going to look for in their next home. Some of the biggest draws of the current housing markets include open floor plans, spacious kitchens, and plenty of entertainment space. Think like a renter. Ask yourself what you would want most and then ask yourself if it’s feasible to include such upgrades given your improvement budget. If so, you’ll be able to list your house for a higher amount and will be more likely to attract the perfect tenant.

Learn to Find the Ideal Tenant

Quality tenants are often rarer than you think, and it’s up to you to decide the kind of people that you truly want occupying your space. Remember, you’ve put a lot of time and energy into freshening up your house to ensure it’ll succeed in a tough market. You don’t want to let just anyone reap the benefits of your efforts. The best landlord-tenant relationships are symbiotic and based on mutual respect. In the initial stages, both you and your prospective tenants need to be putting your best foot forward. If you’re ready to list your property, you need to amp up your curb appeal.

There are plenty of small considerations you can make when it comes to the leasing process. Non-refundable application fees are quickly falling by the wayside. They are restrictive and set the landlord-tenant relationship to “uninviting” from the get-go. Nowadays, it’s very progressive to consider a free rental application. Your pool of applicants will increase significantly which gives you a better shot at finding the ideal tenant.

You can also offer introductory rent specials. In the slower months—think winter when not many people are looking to move—you can incentivize tenants with freebies. These can include a free month of rent, discounted monthly payments with a lengthened lease, or waived pet deposits. All of these showcase your flexibility and openness as a landlord.

Know Your Local Resources

If you’re going to be the primary contact for your tenant, you need to be ready to handle the issues that will arise from time to time. That means you should start building your network of handymen, plumbers, and electricians as soon as possible. If an outlet burns out in your house, you don’t want to be stuck looking for electrical services in Marlboro, NJ while your tenant gets frustrated and counts down the days until their lease ends.

Have all of your bases covered. This means that you should forge connections with all sorts of skilled laborers in your area. Aim to focus on offering repeat business as well. Oftentimes, once you’ve been able to develop a consistent relationship with your slate of workers, you’ll receive more favorable pricing. Your crew gets consistent business and you receive discounted rates for your patronage. It’s a true win-win.

Fostering relationships with your utilities crews will also help you down the road if you ever decide to expand your horizons. Make no mistake: crushing the income property game is an addictive feeling. Chances are that if you begin seeing success through your house rental, you’ll want to keep up the momentum. Having a dedicated base of repair professionals on hand would be a  boon to your booming rental property empire.

Be Patient with Yourself

Renting your house is one of those endeavors that is both satisfying and challenging—often at the same time. Don’t let the initial frustrations knock you down. Owning a rental property comes with many hurdles to overcome. There is a steep learning curve to renting a property and nobody will expect you to have the ins and outs mastered from the first day. Ultimately, if you keep in mind that becoming a landlord is a lengthy learning process and you always strive to put your tenants first, you’re bound to succeed with your home rental!

Categories: Home Improvement

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