If you own rental property, or if you are considering purchasing a home to rent out, here are some tips for finding tenants, renting the home to them, and respecting their privacy as they occupy the home.
1. When looking for new tenants, write concise ads and be available to quickly respond to inquiries. Your ad will not be the only one the prospective tenants are inquiring about, so respond as soon as possible.
2. Be courteous, yet clear and honest with prospective tenants. Specify how many tenants will be allowed to live in the home, if pets are allowed, if month-to-month is a possibility, or should they sign an agreement for a longer rental time? Also rent and security deposit amounts.
3. Do not be afraid to point out positive aspects in your particular property. Some examples: an excellent school district, neighborhood crime watch, recently installed new appliances in the home.
4. Have a detailed lease agreement. Once you have tenants who wish to rent your property, run a background check, and then write a detailed lease agreement; free residential lease agreement forms are available on the internet. Some important terms which should be included in the agreement are: date rent is due, how it should be paid, and terms of late charge if it will be applicable; length of lease and how much notice either party must give before terminating the agreement; under what circumstances the home owner may enter the property; how maintenance and repairs will be taken care of.
5. Together with the tenants, take photos all around the home and property before they move in. If there are damages when the tenants move out, it is then easy to determine if they were pre-existing or not. This is good for both tenant and home owner.
6. If you live a long distance from the rental property, consider hiring a local contact/maintenance person. Should maintenance issues occur, the contact person can go to the property and assess the situation, then recommend to home owner what should be done. This person can be from a professional rental maintenance company, or a family member or friend.
7. Treat your renters with respect. During the time they lease the property, it is their home; respect their privacy. Tenant turnover can be time-consuming and costly, so if your tenants are paying rent on time and not abusing the rental property, it is well worth treating them respectfully so they continue to rent from you.