Putting up your house for rent is one way to help cover the mortgage. In today’s housing market, finding a buyer has become extremely difficult. Among many other reasons, more people are choosing to rent for the flexibility to move out and stay where there are more job opportunities.
Real estate experts from Bergan & Company share the top survival tips you need to use to protect your property as you start with your gig as a landlord.
1. Know how much to charge
Check neighborhood rental ads, online reviews as well as the local newspapers to determine the appropriate rent to charge for your property. Make sure you are setting a realistic amount.
Sometimes you will have to declare a rent lower than your monthly mortgage to get on the same range as similar listings and find a tenant immediately.
2. Thoroughly screen tenant
Advertise your rental property — both online and in print — to find tenants. You should also spread the word through coworkers, relatives and friends. Once you have a potential tenant, ask them to fill out an application form with their basic information for security purposes.
You will also need their Social Security number and signed authorization to check their criminal history and credit reports. Carefully screening tenants is important, especially for long-term leases.
3. Hire a management company
A huge advantage of hiring a management company is to lessen your stress. Your management company will be sympathetic, but they will make sure that you get the payment on time.
Look for a licensed professional. You will be paying primarily for services involving advertising, conducting background checks and running errands.
Whether you’re a reluctant landlord or you want to capitalize on the booming rental market, it’s important to be careful of the tenants you let into your home. Educate yourself on property management basics and protect your unit with a lease contract as well as insurance.