Tuesday, October 23, 2012

For potential landlords: everything you need to know.


There are many reasons why you can find yourself in the situation of being able to rent out a property. Maybe you need to move to a new house and don’t want to get rid of the previous one; maybe a relative left you a property as inheritance; perhaps you bought a house as an investment opportunity. A lot of people would love to have a house to rent and make some profit, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. There are a few things to take into account:




Are you fit to be a landlord?
It may seem easy, but not everybody is ready to take in the responsibility and the time that being a landlord takes. You need to be able to deal with people that in most of the cases will reach you with a problem. You have to be able to answer quickly and figure out how to solve it. If you have a job and do this on the side, there will come a time when you’ll be overwhelmed by the situation.
You may run into not-so-good tenants and you have to be ready to evict them if you must. Of course that a lot of things have to happen before you reach to this point. But, it’s not easy to deal with people that may or may not be homeless after your decision.
If you don’t see yourself in this position, consider hiring professional help. They are used to dealing with issues on a daily basis and that is their job!

The house is in order
Before even putting the house on the market, you need to make sure that everything is perfect as far as the plumbing, the wiring and the appliances. Everything needs to be completely safe.
Develop relationships with electricians, plumbers, carpenters; you will need to be in touch and in good terms with them throughout all of your renting experience.

It all comes down to money
Having a house for rent will cost you money in different stages. First of all, getting it ready and safe for people to move in. Then, all the maintenance that goes into it. Sure, some months you may not have to fix anything, but some other months you may have to make big changes. So make an estimate in your head to keep in hand.
Now, it’s time to know how much you’re going to charge for the space. A way to do this is to check for online classified ads and compare spaces, what they offer and what they charge themselves. Maybe you want to charge more, but keep it in competitive figures. If a person wants to rent, they will have done their research so they know where the market is at.

Screening out
You may think you don’t need this and that you can tell just by looking at a person to see if they’re good or not. Don’t let that fool you. You have to set screening policies, have them in a written form and most importantly, stick to them no matter what.
First things first, get the credit check. This may mean an extra expense on both parts, but it’s a necessary one. Let your potential tenants if you intend to run a credit check and have them agree on it in writing.
A way of taking care of yourself is to get an application form as thorough as possible: credit, references, full name and information, previous landlords (that can eventually give you better references, however, don’t just call the previous one, make sure to dig a little deeper).

Law facts
Although you need to have screening policies, you have to treat everybody equally. If you don’t, you will most definitely encounter some problems ahead.
You have rights and so do your tenants, so check for laws. Some states favor one more than the other, but there are some basic guidelines that everybody share.

If the money that you’ll get from this is more than the money you’ll put in, it’s a good way of keeping the property’s value and to make money for yourself.




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