Many people choose to take a property they own, and convert it into a rental. This can be a great way to provide some additional income, and a great use of your investment. Over 40 million people currently rent in the United States alone, and that number is expected to grow considerably over the next decade.
But is your property ready to rent? Before you post an ad and start interviewing hopeful tenants, we’ve provided a few tips to prepare your rental property.
Inspect Your Home
This goes without saying, but the first step in preparing your rental property is doing a thorough inspection. Once the home is empty, carefully check every square inch of the property for damage. Potential problem areas to keep an eye out for include a leaky or damaged roof, structural damage, clogged gutters, aged plumbing, broken electrical outlets, and burnt-out light bulbs. Also check your floors to make sure they are sound.
A tenant will be more likely to consider living somewhere that is safe and secure. Make sure that all smoke detectors in the home are functional, with new batteries installed. Ensure that all your home’s locks are sturdy, and offer proper security. Also check that every window is capable of being latched. If you want to go the extra mile, invest in a fire extinguisher and home security system.
Deep Clean Your Home
Nothing will turn a potential tenant away faster than a dirty property. Make sure to do a deep clean of the entire home. Clean and wax your floors, steam clean carpets, scrub down the walls, and make sure every surface shines. If your property includes a lawn, make sure the landscaping is immaculate. Make your rental property look like a place you would love to live, and your tenants will love it too.
Out With the Old
It’s always a good idea to turn a discerning eye toward your fixtures and appliances. What condition are they in? Do the counters look like they belong in an episode of The Brady Bunch? Spending some extra money to update your rental property could make the home more appealing to tenants, and be a worthwhile investment in the long term.
Interview Potential Tenants
Once you feel your property is ready to be rented, it’s time to interview potential tenants. Have them fill out an application that lists their names, employer, previous landlords, and personal references. It’s also a good idea to make note of their social security numbers and request a signed authorization form for a credit and background check.
Also be aware of your state’s current landlord and tenant rights, and stay informed about any changes that occur.
With the rental market constantly on the rise, your rental property can be a solid investment in your future. By following these tips, you can help make that investment thrive.