Managing rental property can be an interesting experience. My husband and I rented out our house for extra income after we moved. From our experience, I would say we would not do it again. Looking back we can see things and how we would have done them differently.
- 1. Try not to rent if there is going to be a great distance between you and your tenant, unless you are going to have a management company handle it. When we rented our house, we had moved four hundred miles away. That made our situation a very precarious one. We had no idea what was going on with our property. Luckily, we had great neighbors who would keep us posted on the condition of the yard.
- 2. Take pictures and document your home before you rent it. This is key to having a rental property. Documenting the condition of the house before a potential renter moves in can prevent potential problems such as who will pay for possible damages to the home once the rental agreement is over.
- 3. Have a walk through with the potential tenant. By taking a walk through together both parties can discuss upfront concerns. Taking a checklist to have documentation is also a good idea. When the walk through is complete, both parties can sign off that many issues were discussed.
- 4. Draw up a contract that protects both you and the tenant. Contracts can be binding documents. This sets forth the criteria of the rental agreement. The contract needs to be detailed without any ambiguous language. Refusing to set up a contract is sure way to have problems later.
- 5. Stay in contact without violating renters’ rights. Renters have rights and landlords cannot “big brother” them in the duration of the contract. Even though the property we had was owned by us, we had to allow our tenant to live her life as she saw fit, as long as she was not breaking any laws.