Have you ever considered renting out your home? In 2014, the National Multifamily Housing Council found that 36 percent of households in the U.S. are renter-occupied.
What are the benefits of renting?
- The ability to keep your property to sell later at a better price.
- Rental income can help cover mortgage, taxes, insurance, etc.
- Tax breaks offset rent or other income.
- Repairs done are fully deductible in the year in which they are incurred.
- Having a physical presence in the case of a robbery or urgent repair issue.
Summer is the most popular time of year to rent out a home. Prepare for the arrival of a new tenant with these helpful tips.
Inspect Your Home
Before the temporary tenant moves in, properly inspect your home. Download and print a home inspection checklist. Think safety. Are there any major repair problems? Check that smoke detectors work properly and all appliances are up to date. If it’s broke, fix it.
Your tenant will feel more comfortable living in a safe and familiar environment. Walk them through the house prior to move in to bring attention to any problems that existed before their stay. Take “before” photos, and get a move-in checklist signed.
Set an expectation that the natural state of the home (and how you’d like it returned to you) is one of organization and cleanliness. Start with cleaning these areas:
- Floors or carpets
- Windows and blinds
After cleaning, get organized. Empty closets and cabinets, and put all items back in an organized fashion.
Remove Personal Valuables
When you leave your home in the hands of another, there is inherent risk for items to be stolen or damaged. Remove personal items and valuables from the home. Depending on your tenant’s needs, you may want to remove furniture as well. The safest place will be off the property. Store these items in a self-storage unit. However, if this is not possible, consider a locked closet or chest.
The goal is for your home to be in sale-ready form. Take the time and effort to do the following things:
- Paint the walls of the home.
- Install a new heating and cooling system if yours is broken.
- Clean carpets, and refinish wood floors.
- Install new flooring or carpet, if needed.
- Install new windows and doors, if needed.
- Purchase new appliances, if needed.
Create a Reference Book
To prepare your tenant for time spent in their new home, leave behind a reference book. This helps the tenant understand where everything is and what goes on in the home. Things to include in the reference book include:
- Trash pick up time.
- The home’s little quirks – i.e. wiggle a knob just right to get a door open, cabinets never stay closed, creaky floor boards.
- Location of cleaning supplies.
- Wi-Fi password.
- Relevant contact information – i.e. provide at least one name, telephone number and email for a local contact near the property.
Along with the reference book, you can create a list of house rules. This will ensure your tenant is aware of your expectations. Here are a few examples:
- No smoking in the house.
- No parties allowed with more than 10 guests.
- No food allowed outside the kitchen.
- No pets in the house
Prepare for Move-In
Your temporary tenant will appreciate all the work you put into your home. Provide a good home for your tenant to live in and ensure they will have a good experience.
How will you get your home ready in time to be a summer rental? Share with us in the comment section below.
Image Source: Mark Moz under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic