If you own a property that you don’t use on a regular basis, instead of just letting it sit unoccupied, you may decide to monetize it by renting it out to tenants.
However, you might not know how to begin doing so. Don’t worry if that’s the case! While you should strongly consider reaching out to experts if you genuinely have no idea how to begin renting a property out, the following tips will help you get started.
Calculating rent involves accounting for a range of factors. They include crime rates, local incomes, access to transportation and employment opportunities, and more.
Luckily, there are many tools that can help simplify this process. A basic rent estimate tool or service will quickly provide you with a general sense of how much you should expect to charge. The amount you eventually settle on doesn’t have to be exactly the same as the sum a rent estimate tool generates, but it probably won’t be too far off.
The government also offers tools to help you calculate rent. For example, the U.S. Census Bureau’s website allows you to quickly research local incomes in a given area. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development publishes an annual document listing what constitutes Fair Market Rent in 2,500 metro and non-metro areas throughout the country.
Prepare the Property
Regardless of what type of property you’re renting out, you need to ensure it looks as attractive as possible to potential tenants. Boosting the curb appeal (and the indoor appeal!) of a property can also help you justify charging more for rent than you otherwise could.
Clean out the inside of the property thoroughly. Consider making upgrades, like investing in new HVAC equipment or appliances. Make sure the property’s interior and exterior design are reasonably aligned with current trends. Mow the lawn, make any necessary repairs, and generally clean the entire exterior of the property.
These tasks require time and effort. In the long run, though, completing them will pay off. You can also always hire outside help. For example, if you’re renting a house with siding that’s seen better days, you could hire a house washing or cleaning team to improve its appearance quickly.
Market Your Property
Thanks to the Internet, it’s never been easier to market a property you’re planning on renting out. There are plenty of websites that allow you to do so on your own.
Using those sites and platforms may be all you need to do to get the word out about your property. That said, you also have the option of coordinating with real estate professionals and brokers to market your property even more aggressively. This will be more costly than marketing your property by yourself via an online platform, but it could potentially help you find tenants faster than you otherwise would, which might be a priority.
Understand Your Responsibilities
Another somewhat time-consuming task that’s nevertheless smart to complete when renting out a property involves calculating annual maintenance and repair costs. Remember, you’re the one responsible for covering these expenses, not your tenants. You need to understand your financial responsibility to determine how much rent to charge.
Research the local laws regarding landlord duties and rights as well. For example, some states place a limit on how much a landlord can charge in rent. You want to ensure you’re not breaking the law in any way when renting out a property.
Again, this isn’t meant to overwhelm you. Once you initiate the process, it should run smoothly. It’s simply more likely to do so if you keep these tips in mind.