Why rent out your property? Maybe you’re looking to make some extra money by investing in real estate, or your kids have all moved out and you have an empty basement suite you’d like to make some money off of. Perhaps your house is having trouble selling on the market, or you’re a landlord with a few vacant apartments. Whatever the reason may be, here are five tips to help you start your rental journey.
1. Have the necessary paperwork. Ensure all legal permits, required insurance, and tenant contracts are acquired and on file. Be prepared for the unexpected and protect yourself from legal matters and safety hazards.
2. Be on top of repairs and maintenance. Along with making sure your rental unit meets the safety standards of your local region, you’ll want your rental to have a clean and relatively updated appearance. That’s not to say go overboard on upgrades, but ensure that all necessary repairs are made and it is kept tidy. The better the appearance, the greater the value of the rental unit.
3. Charge an appropriate rate. Take into account the maintenance you have done on the rental property (if any), accessibility of the location, types of rental (short or long term), amenities you are offering etc. and have a reasonable rent rate. Once you decide on a rate, check what surrounding properties are charging so you can make sure your rate is on par or better than the competition.
4. Find a tenant. Use various methods of online advertising, posters and word of mouth to secure a list of tenants. A proper and thorough screening process is an absolute essential for landlords. Taking the time at the beginning to safeguard that your tenant is suitable for your unit could save you many future headaches and money.
5. Consider hiring a property management company. If you’re too busy to handle all of the day to day tasks of being a landlord, or possibly your rental property is in another city, hiring a property manager is a great option. They handle paper work, tenant communications, repairs and rent collection so you don’t have to.