If you’ve got an empty property that you want to put to good use, there’s a good chance you’ve considered renting it out. And, if this is the first time you’ve rented property out, you might be wondering what to take into consideration and if there are any rules to follow. So, let’s take a look at how you can make the process as smooth as possible.
Know the property inside and out
If the property you’re renting out is inherited, or a new purchase, now is the time to make sure you know all of its quirks and charms. Evaluate the property by familiarizing yourself with any maintenance problems and any unique features that could be attractive to potential tenants. Knowing the property inside and out will help you set fair rent prices and know how to resolve any issues that arise once you have a tenant.
Make sure to document any issues on a checklist and also perform a video walkthrough. This way, you’ll have documentation on hand when the tenant moves out, and any issues regarding the security deposit can be addressed. I usually take a video walkthrough, then upload that to an unlisted link on YouTube. That way it’s dated, and stored in a way that I won’t lose it, and I can share it with the tenant. It’s also a great idea to give the tenant the checklist so that they can fill out the checklist for themselves within the first week of occupancy.
Make sure the rent is a fair price
You want to make some money from your rental, but setting the price too high will make it difficult to get tenants. Take the time to research local rental prices for similar properties. Setting the rent too high may mean your property is empty for large periods of time, and setting it too low may leave you shortchanged. If you’re really not sure, speak to a real estate agent for some advice on rent prices.
Also, be sure to spruce up the property to make it more appealing to prospective tenants. Take clear and bright photos for your marketing. Here are a few other tips for getting it “show-ready” and utilizing marketing to maximize your profits.
Use tools to help you manage your rentals
If you have more than one property that you’d like to rent out, you’ll need to stay on top of things. And, if you have your own life, job, and other responsibilities to think about, you’ll need some help in doing so. Using lease administration software like Quarem CRE or Buildium can help you manage all of your rentals in one place by alerting you when rent is late, keeping track of any maintenance that needs doing, or even managing empty properties. This allows you to manage all of your properties without the need to pay for a real estate agent’s service. This helps you save money if you feel like you can manage repair calls and tenant relations on your own.
Stay on top of maintenance
The last thing you want is an empty property, so you’ll need to keep your tenants happy. The best way to do this is to make sure that their living environment is up to scratch at all times. Make sure you address and repair any damages in your property as soon as possible. Not only does this help resolve issues before they escalate into more expensive problems, but it ensures tenant satisfaction, meaning they will continue to rent from you for longer.
Create a detailed lease agreement
Finally, a well written lease agreement should be the backbone of the relationship between you and your tenants. It details where everyone stands; what you expect from them and what they can expect from you. It should include terms and conditions, rent due dates, their maintenance responsibilities, and any other rules for that specific property like no pets or changes to decor without permission from you first. Laying down these ground rules reduces the chances of any misunderstandings right from the start.