Getting your property ready for renting means checking several issues. Many of these may not have been obvious now that you’ve lived on the property. However, you have some work to do to attract high-quality tenants. These ideas will guide you on how to make your home a rental property.
1. Let Go
Home is where you retreat. It’s where you’ve held parties, seen your children celebrate milestones, and made dear memories. Now, you need to release the property, which will be difficult. Whether you want to rent it out for a short period or as long as possible, it’s your choice. Determine whether you want to be a landlord on a property you’ve called home.
If you’ve fully decided to rent your home, the next step is to prepare it for the next occupant. Upon making this switch, be ready to be on call whenever your tenant has a problem that needs to be addressed. Like any journey, this will be an exciting experience, but not without challenges.
Part of letting go involves removing every item you’ve held dear. Pack up and move all your family items from the property, as it’s no longer your home. Inform your family, including the children, that the property will be turned into a rental unit.
2. Get Your Property Ready
This will certainly be a cost and labor-intensive exercise, but worth taking as it’s how to make your home a rental property. As a potential landlord, ask yourself whether if you’re renting someone else’s house, you will live in it if it was just like yours. If you’d like to see some renovations and repairs, start with your home by following these steps:
Inspect the House
Go through the property as you check every space and installation. Check the condition of the floor, ceiling, lighting, stairways if there’s one, walls, doors, windows, and roof, and the condition of the washrooms, kitchen, and bedrooms. Write down every item that needs repair, replacement, cleaning up, or whatever remedy is needed.
For your roofing options, consider using metal roofing materials. Options range from zinc roofing to copper and aluminum. Consider the location of your property, as this should guide you when choosing the material for a strong and reliable roof. If your house is in a location with extreme weather, you’ll need to factor in issues such as hailstorms, tornadoes, heavy winds, and snowfall.
Always look for professional roofers who know how to handle such conditions when working on how to make your home a rental property. The advantage of metal roofs is that they’re generally long-lasting and can serve you for 40 years and above.
Check the Plumbing
Call a plumbing company to inspect your home. Most of the plumbing repairs are usually due to aging parts. Your goal in how to make your home a rental property is to ensure your new tenant settles in well and does not have to keep calling you for this or that issue. So, don’t leave anything to chance. The plumbers will check and fix the leaking pipes. Among the biggest causes of leaky pipes are pipe corrosion, cracked seals, cracked pipes, pipe joint damages, and pipes that can’t contain excessive water pressure.
Among the plumber’s assignments will be drain cleaning. Get your toilets inspected. If the cisterns are not in good working condition, several issues could be causing this anomaly. Others are improperly-sized flapper chains, worn-out flapper seals, flush valves that fell off, and corroded toilet handles. Think of replacing old toilet handles with water-saving toilet flush systems.
Check the Doors
Well-fitted doors make it to the list of how to make your home a rental property. Install the front door to give off an impression of safety. Replace the broken down doors, and ensure the new door closes fully. A front door that looks poorly maintained is an obvious attraction to burglars.
Ensure all doors work properly, close safely, and have extra keys. The bathroom shower door should comprise waterproof material. It should also be easy to open and lock from both inside the shower and outside for the privacy and safety of your tenant.
Inspect the Windows
Windows bring light and freshness to a house. Clean the windows, fix broken panes, and ensure they open and close with ease. Casement windows are popular among many homes as they are easy to open and have better ventilation. Hire a reputable window service company to install new windows and fix those needing repair. Use durable and safe-to-handle materials that can withstand frequent, daily use.
Ensure the HVAC Is Working
You’re now fully responsible for repairing and maintaining the air conditioning system. Luckily, you don’t have to do it yourself. There’s most likely an ac installation service near you. Here’s another tip on how to make your home a rental property; get a qualified technician to inspect the system and give you recommendations on what should be fixed, repaired, or replaced. He will look at the evaporator unit, the thermostat, the fan motor, and the condenser unit and advise on the right air conditioning repair service for the entire system.
Consider Harvesting Water
Water harvesting is one of the most effective ways of lowering the water bill. When looking into how to make your home a rental property, having a continuous water supply is critical, and harvesting means you value this great resource. You’ll need a tank to store the harvested water for later use. The tank can be dug into the ground, and gutters fixed to help collect and channel the water into the tank. For help with this, consider hiring a gutter service.
The gutters are professionally fixed if it’s a good water harvesting system. Before fixing the gutters and the gutter guards, a professional will check the fascia, soffits, and siding. The gutter guards protect the wall against debris that could otherwise get in and cause clogs.
A weak load-bearing wall can eventually collapse. Install a rainwater management system. Water is useful for cleaning and watering plants in homes.
3. Spruce Up Your Home
Discerning tenants who want to rent a home they can be proud of. Moreover, prepare well to give your property a touch of class and attract long-term clients. Give the house a new coat of paint for a fresh look. Below are a couple of other ingenious ways to spruce up your home.
Add a Fireplace
Add a fireplace as part of how to make your home a rental property. A fireplace brings a relaxing ambiance to the living room. It’s also useful for heating your home. The fireplace should be functional and aesthetically pleasant. Going by the high energy consumption levels of electric furnaces, a fireplace is a cost-effective heating method. While its addition may not look like much, tenants are looking for homes with a little extra, and a fireplace gives your home a cozy, warm feel, especially during the chilly months. You can get one from a fireplace store near you.
Have a Waste Management System
Think of how to effectively get rid of waste in your journey of how to make your home a rental property. Make arrangements with the waste disposal service providers in your location for household waste such as plastics, leftover food, and old stuff. Most times, the local county council collects the garbage on specific collection days, providing homes with collection bags.
Trash cans regulations differ with different counties and states. One can dispose of everyday household waste in the trash can, such as food leftovers, utensils, foam cups, and diapers. Inform your tenant about the regulations regarding trash collection, so they’re aware. If extra fees are levied, the tenant should know before signing the contract to avoid unnecessary surprises later.
Another step in how to make your home a rental property is ensuring the septic waste management system is working. Bring in professional septic service providers to conduct routine inspections, and if need be, use cesspool pumpers to empty the cesspool. Experts recommend pumping out waste from the septic tank every two to three years. However, since a cesspit has no outlet, one must empty it whenever it’s full.
4. Know Relevant Laws
You’re turning your home into a business property. This means there are business laws and regulations you’ll need to brush up on. Check if any regulatory changes in your state may exempt you from liability in renting issues, such as air conditioning, trash, and sewage management, among other laws.
Ensure your house complies with the various habitability laws, such as the local building codes and public health regulations. If need be, join a local homeowners association for useful ideas on renting and relevant things to look out for as a landlord. As a member of the association, you’ll understand the written and unwritten rules of engagement as you seek to know how to make your home rental property. Talk with your attorney and other landlords to understand what you’re getting into.
5. Decide What The Rent Will Be
The house is now ready for letting. Determine how much rent your tenant will pay monthly. Your attorney and the property manager can help you come up with an amount recommended for the area of a home like yours. The rent is determined by several factors, including the property’s location.
Outline other charges, such as the rent deposit, how often the rent will be paid, and where it will be paid. Also, make it clear who will pay for utilities, among other fees. Don’t forget to capture issues such as how the lease term can be ended to ensure a peaceful parting once the lease period is over.
6. Find Your Tenant
Without a tenant, this exercise on how to make your home rental property would be futile. After all your efforts, the tenant will determine if you’ll have a smooth landlord-tenant relationship or a nightmare. You have put money into your property and spruced it up to ensure the new tenant enjoys your home. You deserve a tenant who’ll at least appreciate the fact that you went out of your way to make them comfortable living in your home.
You can ease the journey to getting a good tenant by consulting the services of a reputable property management company in your location. They’ll walk you through your preferences for a tenant. Once they understand your tenant preference, they’ll capture these in the rental application form, which property managers use to collect tenant information.
The rent application form should capture property-specific details, the rent amount, rules on keeping pets, and other details, such as smoking rules. The property managers will ask potential tenants to fill out a rent application form.
7. Managing Your Tenant and the Lease
If everything has worked out right, you’ve got your ideal client. Now’s the time to welcome them and help them settle in. Do a final pre-inspection of your property, together with your tenant, using a move-in checklist to ensure each item is working as desired. Once you’ve inspected the property and are satisfied it’s ready for occupation, each party should sign the checklist and keep a copy.
As the landlord, you’ll be on call if the tenant has an emergency. On the other hand, if you let the property managers take over the service at a fee, they’ll collect rent on your behalf, maintain the compound, and take care of other tenant issues.
Throughout the lease, keep all the paperwork. Copies of rent receipts and repairs you paid for are crucial documentary evidence should you decide to evict the tenant. When the tenant moves out of your home at the end of the lease, the process you both went through before move-in shall apply.
Go through the facility and do a move-out inspection with your client. Note any damages besides the normal wear and tear the tenant may pay for. Once these processes are completed, and the house is renovated, the deposit can be refunded to the client, marking the end of your rental relationship.
A tenant-landlord relationship can be short or long. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a tenant who’ll stay on your property for years. However, at some point, the renting relationship will end, as with every journey. When this happens, you’ll get another shot to renovate your home or do with it whatever you want. You can go back to looking for a tenant again, do other developments on your property, or put it on the market. You can even move right back and start from where you left off last time. It’s your home, your choice.