So, you’ve decided to rent out your home! Congratulations on this big next step in your financial plan! Owning a rental property can be a rewarding experience; a fulfilling way to earn a little passive income while providing shelter for someone, while hopefully watching your property’s value appreciate.
So how best to end that vacancy and get a tenant in your home with a contract signed?
Prepare the Property
Set your property up for success, both for marketing and for when the tenants live in the unit. It is important to follow local codes and ordinances to prevent future issues and liability.
Here’s a list of things to check on:
- Smoke Alarms in common areas and near/in sleeping rooms.
- Carbon Monoxide detectors on every floor.
- Clean the interior, including carpets.
- If you have pets, fumigate and clean the carpets with a pet enzyme.
- Wash windows.
- Make sure all doors and windows lock properly.
- Check that all appliances are working properly.
- An extra step is to provide the user manuals for all appliances.
- Another is to record all the makes and models of appliances to have on hand if/when maintenance is required.
- Service the furnace/heat system.
- Freshen up the Paint
- Clean up the yard
It’s going to be much easier to require tenants to maintain a property that was properly maintained when they took possession.
If you plan to rent your home furnished, make a thorough and detailed list of everything in the home. Go as far as saying “2 grey spatulas, 1 black spatula, 2 silver serving spoons” to make sure you have everything back when you return. It also makes it easy for the tenants to replace anything that gets broken. (Note- Unless you’re going to make your home primarily available as short term rental, having it furnished will make it harder to rent, not easier.)