When I met my husband, I owned my little condo and loved everything about it. Once we married, we decided to build a larger home together to grow our family. At the time, selling my first condo didn’t make sense due to the market value being upside down in comparison to what I owed. Therefore, I decided to list it to rent. Some of the tough lessons I learned are now helpful tips that can help you manage your rental property.
PRICE POINT APPROPRIATELY
Knowing your community and what it has to offer will be your biggest marketing tool. Make sure to list all the amenities your home provides as well as any community amenities if they are offered to renters. Compare your property with others within a 3 mile radius to see if your price point is on target so that you can compete and get it under contract.
If your tenants need you, they should always be able to reach you. If you do not want to give out personal information, designate a business phone and e-mail contact to keep communication open. Make sure to reply promptly to their questions or concerns as you would want the same in return.
Be realistic and honest with your tenants and yourself regarding the appliances, history of your home, and the possibility of pre-existing or possible malfunctions. I made sure to budget and set money aside for any unexpected needs. It is your property and your responsibility unless specifically contracted otherwise.
REQUEST A DEPOSIT
When advertising your property, determine whether you want to request a deposit, and make sure that it is within reason. The deposit it to be held separately in an account and only accessed at the end of a contract period. If there is damage when your renter leaves, excluding general wear to carpet and wall smudges, the deposit is to be used for this purpose. A walk thru should be performed before a tenant moves in and upon their exit to rightfully denote any damages.
HAVE A DETAILED CONTRACT
This happened to be my toughest lesson. It can be challenging to transition your relationship with family or a friend into a business relationship, but it will save both parties the headache or even the loss of the relationship altogether. Require a detailed contract including set price, length of rental and fees for exiting the contract if the terms are not met. Upholding these detailed terms between the two parties will help to draw the line in the sand when it comes to making decisions on how to proceed if there is a disagreement.