So you’ve decided to rent out your property. Congratulations! The fun part comes: getting everything in order so you can hand over the keys to your new tenants. Here are six tips to help ensure a smooth renting out process:
1. Choose the right tenants.
This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s worth repeating. Take the time to screen your potential tenants thoroughly. Check their references and credit scores. The last thing you want is to end up with delinquent renters who don’t pay their rent on time or damage your property.
For example, consider requiring a larger security deposit from tenants with poor credit scores. Or, avoid renting to smokers if you’re worried about damage to your carpets and walls.
In addition, get to know your tenants a bit before you sign a lease. Have a conversation with them about their lifestyle and what they’re looking for in a rental unit. This will help you gauge whether or not they’re a good fit for your property.
2. Get everything in writing.
Once you’ve found the perfect tenants, getting everything in writing is crucial. This includes the lease agreement and any rules and regulations you want your tenants to follow. For example, you may want to have a no-smoking policy or a limit on the number of people who can live in the unit.
Putting everything in writing will help protect you in the event of any disputes down the road. For example, if your tenants stop paying rent, you’ll have a written agreement that you can use to take legal action.
It’s also vital that both parties understand the lease agreement before you sign it. This document will outline the rights and responsibilities of both you and your tenants. Make sure you’re clear on things like the length of the lease, the rental price, and any rules or regulations that apply to the unit.
3. Secure a gas safety certificate.
If your rental unit has any gas appliances, it’s essential to secure a gas safety certificate. This certificate is issued by a qualified engineer and confirms that all of your gas appliances are safe to use. You’re required by law to have a valid gas safety certificate for each property you rent out.
Gas safety certificates are valid for 12 months, so make sure to keep track of when yours expires. You should also have your gas appliances regularly serviced by a qualified engineer. This will help ensure they’re running safely and efficiently.
Regardless of whether your rental unit has gas appliances, it’s always a good idea to install a carbon monoxide detector. This will help keep your tenants safe from this deadly gas.
4. Perform regular maintenance checks.
Don’t wait for something to break before you fix it. Schedule regular maintenance checks so you can address any issues before they become significant problems. For example, you may want to have your HVAC system serviced once a year. Or, inspect your roof and gutters on a regular basis.
Keeping up with maintenance will help extend the life of your rental property and avoid costly repairs down the road. It will also make your tenants happy, as they’ll know you’re keeping the property in good condition.
In addition, make sure to have a plan in place for dealing with emergencies. This could include having a list of qualified contractors that you can call on short notice. Or, you can set up an account with a 24-hour repair service. Either way, it’s important to be prepared for anything that might come up.
5. Be responsive to your tenants’ needs.
Your tenants are your customers, so treat them as such. If they have a problem, do your best to resolve it quickly and efficiently. For example, if your tenants are having trouble with the heating, make sure to have someone come out and look at it immediately.
Being responsive to your tenants’ needs will help create a good relationship between you and them. It will also make them more likely to renew their lease when it expires.
In addition, it’s important to be available to your tenants. If they need to reach you for any reason, make sure you’re easy to get in touch with. This could mean giving them your cell phone number or setting up a system where they can contact you online.
6. Let go of the reigns occasionally.
As a landlord, you’re ultimately responsible for maintaining your rental property—but that doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself. Hire a professional cleaning service or landscape company to handle some of the more tedious tasks from time to time, so you can relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor (i.e., the rental income).
Hiring a professional cleaning service will ensure that your rental unit is always clean and presentable. This, in turn, will make it more likely to attract high-quality tenants. Landscape companies can help you keep up with the yard work, which is important for both curb appeal and property value.
While you’re at it, consider hiring a property management company to handle the day-to-day tasks of being a landlord. This could include screening tenants, collecting rent, and scheduling maintenance checks. Property management companies can take a lot of the stress out of being a landlord, freeing up your time to do other things.
Renting out your property can be a great way to generate extra income—but only if you do it right. Following these six tips can help ensure a smooth renting out process and avoid any headaches down the road.