An accidental landlord is someone who inherits a property, or decides to rent out a home instead of selling it. If this sounds like you, it’s important to understand the steps you’re required to take when you lease a property to a tenant.
Prepare the Property for the Rental Market
If this is a home that you or someone else has been living in, you’ll need to remove all the personal property that’s in there. Then, you’ll need to have the home thoroughly cleaned. Once it’s clean and empty, go through and inspect the home. Make a list of anything that needs to be repaired or replaced. You’ll need to make sure the house is safe, habitable, and functional before you put it on the rental market. Make any minor upgrades and updates that will make the property more appealing to high quality tenants. A fresh coat of paint is a good idea, as well as tidy landscaping that provides inviting curb appeal.
Leasing your Home to Tenants
Once your property is rent-ready, you’ll need to market and advertise the home to potential tenants. This starts with good photographs and an accurate, engaging description. Post your listing on all the rental websites that potential tenants are visiting. Some of them are free and others will require you to pay or buy a subscription. Online advertising is the best way to find potential tenants. However, professional and informative signage can also help. You’ll need to show your property, provide applications, and screen your tenants. Make sure you follow all fair housing laws, and comply with laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Accidental Landlords and the Benefits of Professional Property Management
Accidental landlords can benefit from professional property management. If you place the wrong tenants, you run the risk of property damage, unpaid rent, and other problems. Even if you get a great tenant, ongoing management takes time and expertise. You’ll need to collect rent, respond to maintenance, enforce the lease, and stay up to date on all laws and regulations that pertain to rental property.
Professional management doesn’t only provide you with knowledge and experience. It also gives you peace of mind and protects your time. A good property manager will ensure you set the right rental price, avoid long vacancy periods, and retain high quality tenants. It saves you money and helps you earn more on your investment.
If you’re an accidental landlord who needs help with a rental property you didn’t expect to manage, contact us at The Wright Choice Richmond Realty Group. We’d be happy to help you.