Owning a rental property can be an excellent source of income, but managing the property involves extra effort and knowledge. Home ownership requires a number of responsibilities to protect the property, even when you rent it to others. Check out the following tips to help you keep your rental property protected and in great shape.
Choosing the right tenants
Seeking out responsible tenants reduces the chance of home damage caused by neglect or intentional destruction. Mention your screening process in your rental ad and when you first speak with potential tenants so that they know what to expect. This should save time and help deter unreliable candidates.
Always perform a background check and credit check on potential renters. Get references from previous landlords of theirs so that you can ask if they had issues, especially concerning eviction. Good tenants pay the rent on time and shouldn’t cause complaints from the neighbors.
Learn about laws that determine what type of screening questions and requirements are illegal to ask of potential renters. The Federal Fair Housing Act protects renters from discrimination related to things such as race, ethnicity, family status, religion, and disability. In addition to federal laws, states also have protections on things such as sexual orientation. Know the law, and remember that these topics should not be mentioned in the screening process.
Visiting your property occasionally can ensure that you are aware of the condition. Tell renters in the beginning about your expectations for regular communication, reporting maintenance needs, and planning visits to the property.
Set up an appointment with your renters to check for issues that they might overlook. An issue such as a small or hidden water leak might cause major structural damage over time. You should carefully survey the home’s interior, exterior, and lawn.
Communication and friendliness go a long way in making renters feel comfortable enough to report any issues that they experience. This benefits you, because learning about any issue early can save you money by repairing things quickly before serious damage is done.
Include renter maintenance requirements in the lease. Consider providing a maintenance checklist and explain how it helps tenants get their deposit back. Include items such as changing air conditioner filters, preventing pests, and lawn maintenance. Remember to list your contact information at the bottom of the checklist so that they can call you promptly if they have an issue.
If you don’t already have home warranty, consider how many issues can arise with home appliances. This type of protection can cover unexpected home repairs, and they will be completed by a professional. If you are considering getting home warranty, check out the details of the policy to see exactly what you can get covered.
Inspecting your home and performing seasonal maintenance is an important part of home ownership, no matter who resides there. Before ever putting your house up for rent, make a list of the seasonal and annual maintenance that it requires.
HVAC systems, hot water heaters, smoke detectors, and more require regular maintenance. Hiring a professional cleaning service annually can help maintain floors and fixtures. Make sure that you turn off irrigation systems, wrap outdoor faucets, and wrap pipes before freezing weather. Any time that a storm occurs where the home is located, an inspection should be in order.
It is important to keep your property and your tenants’ belongings safe by securing the home against break-ins. Renters are usually happy to have extra security for their protection, and they might even see it as a bonus feature on the home that is worth paying extra to have.
Installing a home security system is the ultimate way to secure the home. Look for a security system that covers doors, windows, and smoke alarms. Remember to include an external motion-sensing light near entrances to discourage burglars.
Securing the doors is a primary concern, so it is essential to have strong and sturdy doors installed. Metal doors are safer than hollow wood doors, which break easily. Install a double deadbolt, and ask renters to use a door jammer security bar, which is relatively affordable. Also, be aware that doors with windows or nearby windows can be broken and reduce security.
Many windows come with a lock, but home invaders can simply break the window to enter. Window sensors with an alarm can often be connected to a mobile app that alerts you when windows are broken.
When renting out your home, there are many things to keep in mind. Having ideal renters might help prevent some issues from happening. Communication, seasonal maintenance, and regular visits can ensure that the property is kept in good shape. Securing the entries protects your property while adding value. If you keep these tips in mind, then you should be able to manage renting your property with few troubles in the process.