Renting out your home is a great way to make some money and help pay down your mortgage. Read on to learn 10 tips to help make your home rental a success.
1. Screen Tenants
If you’re letting people into your house, obviously you want to screen them. This can involve asking questions, checking references, and reading reviews (if using a rental site that offers them). Letting strangers into your home can be a bit nerve-racking, but a robust screening process should alleviate most of your concerns.
2. Set a Competitive Price
Determine the right amount of rent. You obviously need to get enough to make it worth your while, but you also need it to be competitive. Check out comparable rentals in the area and find out what they’re offering.
3. Protect Yourself With a Lease
Depending on what you’re renting out – an income suite for a year, your home for the weekend, etc. – you’ll want to make sure you’ve got some type of agreement or lease. Some rental websites have standard lease agreements, while others allow the homeowners to set their own terms and conditions. Do your research and get a legal document in order.
4. Top Up Your Insurance
Renting out your home has an effect on your insurance. Make sure you’ve topped it up appropriately. Usually this means getting a different policy, and depending on what or how you’re renting, getting a new policy may not necessarily be the case. So talk to your insurance agent about what you need.
5. Make Minor Upgrades
You may not be in the market for a big renovation, but make any minor upgrades you need to in order to make the place look and feel more appealing. You might want to upgrade a countertop, faucet, or even the lighting. Repair any cracks and tighten hardware. Perhaps a new front door is a good idea. The idea is to improve the value of your home and make it more appealing to renters without overextending your pocketbook.
6. Put Away Valuables
No matter how much you’ve screened tenants, you still want to make sure you’re putting away any valuables or important items. No matter who rents your place, accidents happen and things get broken. Protect the things you love by putting them behind locked doors if you can.
7. Prepare the Furniture
If you’re renting out your furnished home, make sure you protect it appropriately. Consider a stain-repellent on fabrics, and think about slipcovers for sofas and chairs. Washable fabrics and easy to clean floors are always the way to go!
8. Clean Up
You’ll definitely want to clean up before a renter arrives and if you can make it work with your budget, I would recommend hiring a professional – particularly if you’ve got a vacation rental and/or a lot of turnover. A professional housekeeper can provide some peace of mind that everything is in tip-top shape, and it will save you time – especially if it’s a vacation property that isn’t close to your primary residence.
9. Understand Your Responsibilities
There are certain rules and responsibilities you have to adhere to, as the owner of the property, when renting out your house. Make sure you know what they are before you sign an agreement.
10. Plan for Emergencies
You never know what can happen to your property, so make sure you’re ready for everything. Have an emergency fund ready, and also have a list of tradespeople you can call in case of an emergency. Also make sure you’ve got a list of emergency contacts in the residence, and let the tenants know where it is.
Images courtesy of HGTV Canada.