Renting Out a Property: Three Essential Things You Should Know
Letting a residential property is among the easiest and most profitable forms of business these days. If you want to cash in on this industry, you will need to learn everything you can about how to successfully rent out a house or flat. To help you get started, here is a list of the top things every aspiring landlord should know:
Can You Rent Out?
Before opening your door to tenants, you need to determine if you have the freedom to rent out the property. If you have an existing mortgage, this means reviewing your contract with the loan provider. They will most likely require you to replace your current mortgage with something more appropriate for the rental business such as a buy-to-let mortgage. You will also have to check with your property insurer to make sure you will still be covered when you rent out the house.
Prepare Your Property for Tenants
As a landlord, you have the responsibility of ensuring the place is fit to be rented out. Hire property inspectors to check if the heating, plumbing and electric systems in the house are in good working condition. Repaint the walls and repair any broken windows or doors. Also, improve security by installing locks, smoke detectors and even CCTV cameras in strategic areas throughout the building or house. Once your place is ready for tenants, you can start advertising it using property listing websites, newspaper ads, posters and flyers.
Know Your Tenant Requirements
As enquiries about your rental property start streaming in, it is important that you create a process for screening your potential tenants. Make a list of all the requirements you need from a prospective renter. For instance, you might prefer couples with no children or individual tenants as your property is rather small and can only comfortably accommodate a limited number of people. Moreover, it would be a good idea to get references for the tenants you are considering. Who the reference will be from is entirely up to you. Evidence of monthly income from their employer and a written reference from a previous landlord would be great.
Make sure you keep the lines of communication open between you and your tenant. Write down all your agreements and go over every detail together before you sign. This way, you can both ensure that you have the same views of the contract and are aware of your individual responsibilities.
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