6 Great Tips for Renting Out your Home

It’s that time of year again. The housing market tanked, you can’t find anyone to buy your home from you, and you’re completely in a pickle. The only real remaining option is to try to rent out your home, to at least attempt to pay off its mortgage.

If this person is you, you are likely about to become (or already are) one of the fabled ‘reluctant landlords.’ If you want to sell your property, either rent or lease, or if you want to protect your property while having it rented out, follow these six great tips.

1. Find a good tenant.
This rule is one of the most important guidelines to follow. Finding a good tenant is extremely essential because if you rent your house to someone who doesn’t care about it at all, you might find yourself with housing issues, noise complaints and other stolen or broken items with your property.

If you’re looking for a tenant, there are multiple ways to find them. First, you can advertise on billboards, Craigslist, other housing sites and also newspapers. Also, you can talk about it and spread the word to your friends, family, and coworkers.

2. Determine how much you should charge for rent.
Don’t wait to find the tenant to identify and barter on how much to charge for your house lease. It not only depends on the property, yard, features and other things but also how much money you need.

Do you need to pay off a mortgage or debt? An extra $100 a month isn’t enough to ward off any potential buyers, but can still rake in an additional solid $1200 a year.

Still, though, be realistic about the rent levels. The amount that you get per month after taxes still might not be enough to cover your debt or mortgage, but it doesn’t mean that you should charge so much as to scare away any potential renters or buyers.

3. Protect your house and your rights with a lease.
Having a written and legal contract can help both parties to understand their rights and obligations. A good lease that complies with the fair housing act and also with the rental, legal and tenant laws of your region can strengthen the trust between the two parties.

The lease should include these essential things:
– List of tenants
– Security deposit, usually a month’s worth of rent up front
– Length of the lease term
– Rental due date
– Maintenance responsibilities
– Repair legalities
– Pet policies and other related pet rules
– Noise standards and smoking, noise levels
– Insurance
– Terms of Eviction

4. Be sure to protect your property with insurance
Protecting your property or house with different levels of protection is essential to the health and integrity of your property. What if one of the tenants has a gas leak? It shouldn’t be their problem, as stated in the contract, to fix it. Not to mention that if you don’t have the money, or quite obviously don’t want to pay for it, you’re left in the dark.

Insuring your property, finding a good tenant and charging the appropriate amount of rent are essential guidelines to renting out your property. Good luck renting, and be careful!