Renting out your home while going on vacation or even to long-term tenants is a great way to add a secondary income source to your household. When you have plans to own a residential rental, there are a few tips to keep in mind to prevent legal or financial woes from coming in between you and additional returns on your investments.
Research Local Landlord Laws
Before you list your home for rent, it is essential to brush up on local landlord and zoning laws in your neighborhood as well as your region or state. Laws will vary from state-to-state, and may even vary by county, depending on your property’s location. Many laws may require your home to be up to code and may also require a complete inspection or verification prior to renting the space to another tenant, which is why it is imperative to ensure you are within your legal rights to rent as a landlord before listing your home for rent publicly.
Know Your Rights
Spend time familiarizing yourself with your rights as a landlord based on your current state. Understanding the law that surrounds being a landlord can come in handy if you are dealing with a tenant who refuses to vacate the premises or pay their rent within a timely manner.
Learn About Tenant Rights
While it is important to understand your rights as a landlord, it is equally important to have a complete understanding of the rights your tenants will also have. Violating a tenant’s legal or privacy rights at any time throughout their rental contract or agreement can result in fines, legal woes, and even a loss of your property.
Seek Out Tenants to Rent to Online
One way to find suitable and reliable tenants to rent to is to do so online. Use authentic and legitimate rental services to seek out tenants and to list your home for rent. Conduct background checks and verify the income of any tenant you are considering for the rental of your home prior to accepting their application. Avoiding potential issues with a tenant is often a much better route than facing a legal battle or losing out on rental money in the future by not conducting thorough background checks during the screening process.
Draft a Tight Contractual Agreement
Whenever you are renting a property to another tenant, whether for a short period of time or even long-term, drafting a tight and legally sound contractual agreement is a must. Without a legally sound contract, you may find yourself liable for financial troubles, property damage, or other legal matters involving your current or previous tenants. Ensuring you have a tight contractual agreement for your rental home is possible by working together with an attorney or law firm that specializes in landlord rights and rental properties.
Consider the Option of Hiring a Property Manager
If you are thinking of renting out your home and you are unsure of where to begin, or if you simply want to maintain your peace of mind throughout the process, consider the option of hiring a property manager to take on the task. Hiring a property manager can help to put your mind at ease as they take care of listing your home, finding suitable tenants, and even collecting rent within a timely manner each month. Working together with a property manager is possible for a set percentage of the monthly rent you receive from your tenant(s) each month. A property manager can help to save time while preventing unnecessary headaches and obstacles that are common for landlords.
Taking the time to research local laws, landlord laws, as well as tenant rights before you rent your home out can help to make the rental process as smooth as possible. With an understanding of your rights, zoning laws, as well as proper financial planning, you can make renting out your home a viable money-making operation.