If the idea of renting out your beloved home to complete strangers terrifies you, then maybe you shouldn’t read this. But for the brave, whether you’ve paid off your existing home, or you’ve acquired another home, renting out your property is a great option. Renting is also a great choice for those who decide to invest in a short sale or foreclosed home to “flip” and rent. Here are five essential things to know before you rent out your property.

1.) Can you be a landlord?: Determine if you’re really ready to rent out your property, and if you can handle all the responsibilities of being a landlord. Being a landlord demands time, collecting rent, emergency property maintenance, a patient temperament, and possibly taking on the role of evictor.

2.) Make the home move- in ready: A down real estate market means that tenants who are considering a rental are more selective than ever. A home in need of repairs will not hold up against the surplus of rental homes available that are “like new“. Before you rent out your property, make sure to make repairs, replace broken appliances, and give your home a thorough cleaning.

3.) Name your price: Unfortunately you can’t charge what you wish when you’re determining your rent price. You have to be competitive with other rental rates in your area. You also have to decide what you have to offer to the renter. Is it furnished or unfurnished? Do you have appealing aspects to offer such as a washer and dryer, newer appliances, or a garage?

4.) Screen your tenants: Screening your new “tenants to be” is easily one of the hardest aspects of having a rental property. Unfortunately you can’t rent out your house based on a gut feeling that someone seems reliable. It’s best to use a fair-housing attorney approved application paired with references and a clean background check.

5.) Ask for help: If you’ve determined that the landlord role just isn’t your cup of tea, it doesn’t mean that you still can’t turn a home into a rental property. You can always hire a professional property management


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