36% of American households are renters, and the percentage is on the rise. If you have a second home you’re thinking about renting out, now’s a great time to do so.
Before you list your property for rent, however, there are a few things you should do. You can’t jump in right away!
Read on to learn five things you should do before you rent out your property.
1. Fix Any Problems
Before you list a property for rent, you want to make sure it’s in good condition. Any obvious issues, such as plumbing problems, chipped paint, and flooring problems, should be addressed first.
Remember that when you rent out your property, it’s not just an investment. It’s going to be someone’s home. You’ll have to fix problems that arise later, so it’s best to fix what you can now.
2. Freshen Up the Space
You may want to make some modifications that aren’t fixed, per se, but improvements.
Perhaps you paint the rooms in bright colors, add some new shades to the windows, and replace old light fixtures with nicer ones. You could build some shelves into closets for extra storage and upgrade an appliance or two.
These are small changes, but they’ll attract potential tenants and make it easier to rent out your property.
3. Take Great Photos
When you’re getting ready to put your property up for rent, make sure you take fantastic photos. It may even benefit you to hire a professional photographer for the occasion.
You can either do staged photos or photos of the empty apartment. There are pros and cons to both, so decide what works best for you.
Take photos with a clear camera with good lighting. You want the photos to be clear and to accurately show off what the actual rental property looks like. Consider what you would want to see if you were a potential renter and take photos accordingly.
4. Learn the Laws
This is a necessity. You need to understand the laws around renting in your area. Landlord/tenant laws are often complex, and you don’t want to get in trouble or do something unfair to your tenants.
If you’re struggling to understand your local laws, it can be helpful to contact a lawyer or a peer who is already a landlord. You can also work with a property management company. Property managers generally have a pre-existing understanding of the law.
5. Consider Talking to a Property Management Company
On that note, even if you understand landlord/tenant laws, a property management team can still help you.
These property management experts can help you market your property, find new tenants, screen those tenants, manage repairs, and so much more. They take away some of the busy work associated with being a landlord.
Using a property management company has some pitfalls, but it does turn being a landlord into an almost-passive income opportunity.
Are You Ready to List Your Property for Rent?
If you’re thinking about starting to list your property for rent, make sure you do these things first! Make any repairs, improve the property, take some awesome photos, learn the laws, and consider hiring a property management company.