Home & Condo Rentals Blog
November 6, 2019
Top 8 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Renters!
With the number of renters increasing every year, and an expected 5-6 million additional renters entering the market over the next decade, you may have thought about renting out your home as an investment property. There are several reasons to lease your home, but to maximize your return, there are several things you can do to increase not only your potential of finding a qualified tenant, but also increase your rental income.
Here are our Top 8 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Renters:
- Give your home a thorough inspection and start repairs on anything that would prevent a happy tenant from occupying your home. Plumbing, roofing, electric outlets and breakers, safety features (smoke alarms, security/alarms, pool cages and fencing), garage doors, and driveways, light fixtures and indoor and outdoor lighting, etc. Leasing your home can be risky, so reduce as much risk as possible from the tenant and their family/guests.
- Speaking of safety, before any new tenant moves in, always change the locks. Also ensure you have all other needed keys to access mailboxes, community amenities, and any gate codes.
- Ensure that you either have landscaping, lawn care, and/or pool care contracted, or specific instructions and expectations for tenants if they are to maintain any part of your home and grounds. Remember that many folks visiting or moving here may not have had to maintain grounds or a pool before, so ensure they either have the resources needed, or include this maintenance as part of the rental cost.
- HVAC!!! Change filters, give it a maintenance check and hire someone to give annual inspections and checkups on your system. A happy HVAC system means a happy tenant!
- Pest control; similar to grounds maintenance, either have a contracted service company provide pest control for your rental, or have clear and detailed instructions and expectation for pest control for your tenants. Even if your tenants do agree to maintain the pest control, it would still be advisable to have an annual or bi-annual professional treatment by a reputable pest control company.
- Now that you know what your tenant expectations and estimated contracted costs will be per year, make sure that your expected rental income will cover at a minimum all your costs plus some profit. Don’t forget mortgage, insurance, taxes, HOA, CDD or any other annual or recurring costs your home may incur. We also recommend planning on spending one month rent per year on normal wear and tear repairs and maintenance of the home. Things go wrong, so you need to be prepared to deal with them.
- Speaking of mortgage and insurance, make sure that they know your intentions of renting out the property and that you have both the permission and your home has the coverage needed as an investment property.
- Hire a property management company to find the right tenant and handle the screening, application, and approval process. It may be an up-front cost to do so, but between the thorough background/credit check, prior landlord verification, employment verification and the knowledge of Landlord/Tenant Law in the state, you will be thanking yourself in the long run. This is by far the most important aspect of avoiding liability and a potential nightmare tenant for yourself.
We hope these tips help you!
Thank you for taking the time to read our blog. This is a series that we hope will help educate both owners and tenants in the Venice, Nokomis, Osprey, North Port and Englewood areas. Once again, if there is ever a question that anyone has, please do not hesitate to call us.
Thanks and have a wonderful day!!
The Home & Condo Staff