To be a successful property owner, you need to have a good property manager. If you don’t want to hire a property manager or management company and pay the associated fees and commissions, then you need to perform these jobs yourself. Here is a step by step chart of the things to do when you want to lease your house.
1. Be certain that the property is clean and in good repair.
A house that is in good repair will draw the best good tenants. Arguably, if it is free of needed repairs, there will be one less item to be considered during negotiation. Be sure the house is secured with re-keyed locks.
2. Determine the deposit and rental payment.
Analyze what the going rate for your property’s area, and set the amount you are comfortable with. Always charge a security deposit that is more than one month’s rent. Take steps to ensure that you understand your state’s tenant and landlord laws to keep in compliance.
3. Let the neighbors know.
Being cordial to the neighbors will help keep the best renters. If a prospective renter assumes the house is being observed by neighbors who are friendly with the landlord, they are not as likely to misuse the property. Additionally, neighbors may have a friend or family member looking for a nice place to rent.
4. Take out ads in the local newspaper.
Understanding that classified ads are costly, be sure to use these main items: price, size, and contact information. Naturally, you can use the internet to place ads, but many tenants who may be looking, may not have internet access.
5. For Rent sign on the property.
A professional looking sign with For Rent and your phone number should be used. An information sheet can be included, and it may lessen a lot of tire-kickers.
6. Keep the lawn maintained.
During the vacancy, make sure the property is well maintained, the lawn mowed, no over flowing mail box or stacks of advertising flyers.
7. Answer your phone.
Today it is quite easy to get a ‘dedicated’ cell phone just for your rentals. When you have a property or properties vacant, be sure to answer the phone or have a complete message about the property when you can’t answer.
8. Showing the property.
When a prospective tenant calls to see the property, provide them the address and have them visit the house. Tell them to look in the windows just to make sure the previous tenants have gone. If they still want the house, have them meet with you to fill out the application and take a holding deposit of $100 that is fully refundable if the property is not rented to them.
9. Do the background check.
Verify employment and income, call previous landlords. Validate the data in the application.
10. Do a tenant interview.
Use your common sense in talking with the prospective renter. Ask the children questions too. You are about to let a family take over one of your very valuable possessions. You will have to make sure they can take care of it. Don’t wait until you get the perfect tenant, but don’t be in such a rush to rent that you let your standards go to the wayside.
11. Get cash for the deposit or a cashier’s check made payable to you.
This is where a lot of tenants will begin to negotiate. You can’t evict for a late deposit, so always collect the full amount of deposit up front. Also, make confident that you know your local regulations regarding how the deposit is to be in escrow.
12. Present the lease contract, inspection sheet and new keys to the tenant after the full deposit and rent has been paid.
Don’t allow them to move in unless all payments are settled. Require the inspection sheet to be returned within 3 days or the property will be considered by them to be in good condition, no maintenance required. If repairs are reported by the tenant in writing, be sure they are quickly repaired.
Now that you have your good tenant established, use a system to remind you of the lease amount and due dates. Also, use the system to inform you of the lease agreement’s expiration date. Observing these 12 steps will assist you in your property management performance.