These tough economic times have forced many of us to find new and creative ways of generating income. And if you own a home or a condominium, one of the easiest ways to make your property work for you is to find a renter to lease out a part of your house. If you don’t live at the property, the prospect of renting your entire home does present itself.  But how does one go about finding a suitable renter? Where does one look? Are there any precautions that need to be taken before you hand over the keys to your house to a complete stranger?

Posting an ad on the internet is possibly the most effective avenue to pursue for finding a person to rent your home. But considering that there is effectively no filter between you and the rest of the world, you must be careful not only in who you ultimately turn the house over to, but who you allow to come see it in the first place. Call the prospective tenant over the phone or have some kind of correspondence before you allow them to come see your home. This will help insure that the people who come to look at your property are not only serious about renting, but that they aren’t dangerous or flat out strange. A real estate agent can always be hired if you feel that you are not comfortable doing this. However, it is going to cost you.

Next, make sure that you have renters insurance. If you don’t opt for this rather essential precaution you could potentially be responsible for any damage inflicted on your property by the renter.

A rental agreement must also be drawn up and signed by the renter. This is the one step in the process that should not be done without consulting a professional. Hiring a real estate attorney to draft up, or possibly just consult you on the specifics you need to include in the document helps both parties understand the nature of the agreement. If the tenant throws wild parties every night and gets you into hot water with your neighbors, you will have no legal recourse if there is not a signed rental agreement saying that parties over 10 people are not allowed.

Renting your property is easy and lucrative; and if you take the time to follow these simple guidelines, you’ll have a fat check every month, hassle free.

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