Want or need to rent out your house? Whatever the reason you’ve decided to rent your house out, the simple fact is, you want to do it right so that you can make a great first impression with your prospective tenants – and reap the most benefits. Here are a few basic steps to help get your home rent-ready.
5 Steps for Getting Your Home Rent-Ready
1) Rekey the Locks
Protect your new tenant’s privacy and safety by rekeying the locks on your home. This also ensures that all locks are functional. It’s a good idea to recode garage door openers and gates as well. Rekeying your locks is a small price to pay for the reduced liability of “unlawful entry.”
3) Make Necessary Repairs
There is no end to the amount of home improvements you can make to ensure your house is rent-ready before placing it on the market. Your house should be free from any major repairs at the time the tenant moves in. To safeguard you from unpleasant surprises make sure everything’s up to code.
2) Clean it Up
Clean the house inside and out – before showing it to prospective tenants. Make sure the floors and counters are scrubbed, the carpets are professionally cleaned, the refrigerator is cleaned out, all appliances and electronics are in good working order, and the landscaping is tidy.
3) Ensure You’re Insured
Make sure your home insurance policy allows renting and that it will cover any damages. You may want to consider taking out an additional landlord’s policy. It’s not a bad idea to require tenants to have an adequate amount of renters insurance for which they pay a small fee as well.
4) Determine if You Should Outsource
Will you manage the property yourself or hire a property manager to look after it? Deciding whether you should hire a property manager is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make as a landlord. It is a decision that cannot be made by anyone other than yourself.
A property manager will:
- Advertise for new tenants
- Sign Leases
- Collect the rent
- Keep track of finances
- Schedule maintenance repairs
- Issue legal notices
- File evictions
If you decide to manage the property yourself, these are all duties you will need to do yourself. If you don’t live close by, understand California’s tenancy laws, or have the time to manage the property yourself; hiring a property manager can save you more than just money in the long run.
5) Determine a Rental Price
In the world of rentals, you don’t set the rental price, the market does. Your job is to discover what your home’s “Fair Market Rent” is and try to get that amount. The best way to determine this is to research what houses in the same location and of the same size and condition are renting for.