Often, we hear from landlords and property managers who are asking – how to rent my house? The key is preparation and planning. You also need to educate yourself on best practices, your local market, and all the laws and regulations that pertain to rental properties. Today, we’re sharing the five most important things you need to do when you’re renting out your property.
Preparing it for the Market
A house that looks great will rent quickly and earn you more money. Prepare the property by ensuring that all repairs are made. The property must be clean, functional, and inviting. If you have been living in the home, clean out all of your own items and remove all trash and debris from the house, garage, and yard. Put a fresh coat of paint on the walls, replace the carpets, and make it ready for tenants. Price it competitively and advertise it aggressively.
Finding a Tenant
You’ll find a great tenant by marketing the property online, responding to all inquiries, and being available to show the home. When you have people who are interested in applying, make sure they understand your requirements. Screen all applications fairly and consistently. Check credit and criminal backgrounds, and verify employment and income. Talk to past landlords and ask if rent was paid on time and if any damage was left behind. Collect a security deposit and sign a lease that protects your interests and tells the tenant what is expected during the tenancy.
Make sure your tenants know how to report maintenance and submit repair requests. When something is needed at the property, be responsive. Emergencies need to be handled right away. Establish relationships with local vendors who can do good work for reasonable prices. If a tenant calls in the middle of the night because the water heater is leaking, you’ll want to have a plumber ready to help you.
Laws and Liability
It’s easy to make expensive mistakes when you’re renting out a home. Educate yourself on all laws and regulations. You need to understand fair housing, habitability standards, and how a service animal differs from a pet. Being a landlord comes with a lot of liability, so make sure you’re insured.
Vacancies and Turnover
Prepare yourself for periods when the property is vacant and you aren’t earning any rent. Turnover is undesirable because it decreases your ROI, but it’s a good time to take care of deferred maintenance and cosmetic updates. Work quickly between tenants so you don’t lose too much money on the vacancy.
This introductory landlord guide can get you started when you have a house to rent out. There’s a lot more to share. If you need any help with Kern County property management, please contact us at JBL & Associates.