What to Do Before Renting out a Property
Renting out properties is one of the most reliable and lucrative sources of income in the US. According to figures from Pew Research Center, there are more renters than at any time since 1965. Unlike other types of businesses, the demand for housing is constant. While the demand for masks and hand sanitizers may die down in a few years, you can’t say the same about housing. People will always need a place to live. But being a landlord isn’t just about collecting the rent every month. Here are some essentials before you rent out to a tenant:
Have an accredited assessor check out the house or apartment’s electrical system. You should also hire a professional inspector. They can find out if there are any underlying problems that aren’t visible to the untrained eye. It may not seem like it but the property could have serious foundation issues or rotting floors.
One of the landlord’s main responsibilities is to make sure that the property is a suitable place to live in. It can be found in the implied warranty of liability in residential leases which is required in most jurisdictions in the US. Electrical problems, black mold, and other safety hazards all fall under this section. If the property is found to be uninhabitable, the tenant is within their right to withhold their rent. The worst-case scenario is legal action. Your tenant can take you to court which means expensive legal fees and potentially high compensatory damages.
Before you put out a listing online, make sure that your place is in top shape. It will make it easier to promote. If you have the documents from experts, you’re more likely to attract renters. It’s also a good way to start a good relationship with your tenant. If you have the place safe and comfortable, they know that you take their health seriously.
All Locked Up
When it comes to ensuring a place is livable, it’s not just about the health hazards. Security is also an integral part of the requirement. Your tenants should feel safe and secure in the property they’re renting. A great place to start is with the locks in the exterior doors. Stay away from locks that are easy to pick or break. If the lock has been the same for years, it may be time for a change. Make sure to do some research to find out which are durable and not susceptible picks. You could also consider a smart lock which is suitable if you rent out your property for short-term stays. Instead of having the keys changed, you can just change the password.
For security, it’s not just about the doors. Burglars and home invaders don’t only break in through the doors. In fact, a survey of almost 90 burglars found that most of them use windows to enter homes. It’s easier to forget to close windows because they’re not as visible as open doors. They also have glasses that are easy to break and latches that can be opened outside with a knife. On the bright side, there are things you can do to make sure they’re secure. One is to install a pin lock. They’re easy and inexpensive to install. Another way to add extra security is to add grates or security bars. Even if they managed to break the glass window, they wouldn’t be able to enter.
Put Yourself in the Renter’s Shoes
There’s no better way to find out if your property is inhabitable than trying it out yourself. Professional inspectors focus on structural issues and health hazards. This means that they won’t know if there’s anything wrong with the house’s basic functions.
Before you put an ad online, stay at the apartment or house for a few days. From morning to night, you can find out if there would be any issues for your tenants. For example, there might be a neighbor who makes a lot of noise at night. Before you receive any complaints, you can talk with the neighbor and ask them to keep the noise down.
During your stay, you should also try out all the amenities you offer. If the property has an over, cook or bake something to find out if it still works fine. If it has a washer and a dryer, do your laundry to see if there’s any problem.
If you stay on top of your property’s situation, you can avoid a lot of problems. You won’t have to worry about any complaints, disputes, or even lawsuits. As long as you do all your responsibilities, there shouldn’t be any issues.