Renting Out Your House

Things to Get In Order Before Renting Out Your House

Renting out your house can go a long ways towards improving your finances, particularly if you are moving for an extended period of time, or going on a long family trip. Many people also choose to rent an extra home instead of selling it to gain a gradual profit. Whatever your reasons for renting out your house, there are several things you should take into consideration and get in order before the rental lease is signed.

Rental Agents

Rental agents can be a great asset to you if you are considering renting out your house. They record all important information regarding your house and its amenities, advertise your home in a variety of media forms, provide you with necessary forms that will be required throughout the process, and even assess and screen your potential tenants before presenting them to you for review.

These services don’t come cheap, however. Depending on the agent you choose, you or the chosen tenant will likely be charged the equivalent of one month’s rent at the time of the lease. This price may be split up between you and the tenant as well, depending on how payments are processed for your agent. These costs may be avoided by purchasing property rental software that can help you with forms and frequently asked questions, but if you are new to this process, it is highly recommended that you rely on a reputable rental agent.

Tenant Screening

While you may be eager to present the first applicants with a lease agreement, you need to be careful in selecting the people you entrust your house to. Tenant screening helps you to weed out undesirable tenants and people whose financial records and salaries can’t handle paying your rate of rent comfortably. Tenant screening usually includes a credit check, a reference check, and an employment/wage verification check. In addition to these, some people wish to perform criminal history checks as well.

If you have chosen to enlist the help of a rental agent, he or she will handle this step for you. If, however, you are going at it alone, you need to be prepared to get your hands dirty and stay on top of things yourself. Begin by hiring an agency to perform a credit check and any background checks you need. You can call references and employers yourself, and be sure to ask questions about character and reliability.

When you get the credit check back, be sure to look at it carefully. If a lot of debt is owed but they don’t make a good deal of money, they may have issues paying you on time. Repossessions and missed payments may point to a tenant that would be likely to cut and run if money gets too low. It is possible however, that poor credit can be explained, particularly with single parents or people that are recently divorced. Many people have been handed over bad debts from former spouses and lovers but are very responsible with their own finances. This is where references can come in handy and pre-rental interviews.


Get Everything in Order

Once you’ve chosen a tenant, you need to make sure that final arrangements are in order. Determine the length of the lease and discuss whether or not it can be lengthened or renewed at the end of the term. If you are planning on returning to your home, make this perfectly clear to your tenant.

Find reliable and affordable licensed HVAC techs, painters, carpenters, plumbers, etc. Things are going to break down, and one of your responsibilities is to make sure that you provide your tenant with a safe home that is up to standards. Have repairmen and companies selected that can do any work you need with minimal supervision.

Be sure to alert your neighbors that you are moving. There are a surprising amount of emergency calls placed in regards to burglars and home invaders that are simply new tenants inspecting homes before they move in to determine furniture placement. Give your neighbors a phone call or send them a letter.