Renting Your House 101

Why rent your house? Well the answer is simple, renting your house will allow you to keep your investment on track, and turn your liability into an asset.  Renting your house will afford you the ability to maintain your property, while the tenant’s rental payments assist with paying down your mortgages, and expenses.  Below you will find 5 simple steps that are necessary in the success of renting your house.  If you follow these steps the renting process should go from a head ach to success.

1)    Advertising

You want to makes sure your house is properly advertised. First things first, you must have Signage.  Make sure you not only post a sign in the yard, but also on surrounding streets that receive constant traffic. Your sign should include a brief description of the property, price, and your contact information.   Moving on, with the advantage of the internet, advertising has never been easier.  You want to take advantage of all the websites that are consumer used and orientated. A few examples are as follows: craigslist, backpage, facebook, and postlets just to name a few. Guess what, these websites are all 100% free, and user friendly.

2)    Qualify Prospects

Although you are not a professional, and may not have access to running credit reports, etc. It is important to make sure you properly qualify any prospective renters. To qualify a renter you should consider the following: income, credit, employment, and rental history. Income and employment are the most important. You want to make sure your prospective renter has sufficient income to handle not only the rent, but also all of their other bills. As a rule of thumb your renter should make at least 2 ½ times the monthly rent. In terms of their employment, how long have them been employed? Did they just start a new job? These are all questions to look for within their application. The next important qualifier is rental history. As a landlord you want to make sure the renter you are placing in your property, have a history of paying on time, and have maintained the property in its upmost integrity. To find out a prospective renters rental history you will contact the prospective renter’s current and past landlords. After gaining knowledge of renter’s rental history you should have enough information to move forward with approving their application or declining.

3)    Writing The Lease

The most common mistake landlords make is trying to draft their own lease agreement. Real Estate Brokerages like Trilogy Realty all use a uniform AAR Lease Agreement.  Why, because it works. Don’t try and get crafty, I promise you the AAR lease is all you need to protect yourself.  You can access this lease by going online, or by asking any real estate professional such as Trilogy Realty.

4)    Collecting Funds and Exchanging Keys

Assuming steps 1-3 have taken place, it is now time to exchange funds and keys. But first you want to make sure all prospective utilities have been transferred out of your name and into the renters. You would be surprised how many renters forget to do this. I would call the utility companies the day prior to ensure that all of the accounts have been transferred. Once you have received confirmation, I would make arrangements to meet the renters at the property. There is no set time as to when a lease should start. The time is completely negotiable.  As a recommendation, I would require your renters to have their move in funds in the form of certified funds. This could be a money order or a cashier’s check. I would not accept cash or a personal check. In the future months a personal check acceptable, until there is a problem, such as bounced checks.

5)    Move In Check List

Before leaving the property, I would provide your renters with a move in check list. A move in check list is a list where your renters can mark down any items that are damaged or require repair. I would recommend a move in checklist not only for your protection, but also to avoid any confusion down the road. Generally the renters will have a week or so to complete and return this check list to you. Upon receipt it is important to acknowledge any and all items and handle accordingly. You can locate a sample of a move in check list on the web.

In closing, although renting your house can be a scary situation it doesn’t have to be. As long as you follow the above steps, you should have a fairly smooth ride. In the event you are having trouble locating a qualified prospective tenant, Trilogy Realty and I are happy to assist. Trilogy Realty takes an aggressive approach to advertising, and utilizes over 80 different websites to advertise your property, in addition to of course the MLS, Realtor blasts, and signage. Trilogy offers an unmatchable customer service and it’s all included at price below our competitors.

Chalyce McQueen
Associate Broker
Trilogy Realty

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *