If you are about to rent out a property for the first time, it can feel like you are facing down the barrel of the renting market! There is a lot of competition out there, as well as a lot of hidden rules and tricks of the trade to find out about, and ultimately you can be intimidated by the prospect of becoming a ‘landlord’. But that is why we have written this post! Renting out for the first time can be a challenge, but it should not be scary — here is what you need to know.
Do some research into rent
The rent you set will very much dictate the kind of tenants you attract, as well as the volume of tenants. Not only that, but you need to set a fair price that people will be able to afford — a tenant that can pay in the long term is much better than one who can only stay a couple months! As such, do some research into the rent prices in your area, how they have changed over the years, and what you can do to be a good landlord in this most glaringly obvious area.
Get the place cleaned up
The next thing to do is ensure the place is actually ready to be moved into. You could not imagine just how many landlords forget to clean up before showing a prospective tenant round — it is the number one way to send someone running! So hire a house cleaning service for a professional check over to get in all the difficult corners and make sure you’ve removed everything you would not want a tenant getting in trouble with — especially if they are only staying for a week or two.
Use some screening tools
Screening tenants saves both parties a lot of time and energy down the line. The main thing to do is ensure the prospective tenant can actually pay the rent — you do not want to get stuck in a contract neither one of you wants to be in! You can also ask for references from previous landlords or people who know the tenant well; you need to know who you’re dealing with. And depending on your preference, you could work with an official vetting company here, but you can also conduct these kinds of screening tests yourself.
Look into insurance
Insurance can be forgotten about when renting; after all, you already hold a regular homeowner insurance policy! But if you are renting out a property to other people, you are going to need ‘landlord’ insurance instead. This keeps the building itself safe while tenants are in it, and ensures you will not be out of pocket over damages and/or much needed repairs in the long run. Look extensively into your options here, as some policies are better than others and may not truly cover your property.
If you have an apartment or even just a spare room, keep tips like these in mind. Finding a tenant can be tricky, but smoothing out the renting process should not be!