My husband and I put our house on the rental market a few weeks ago. We’ve had quite a few showings, but no tenants yet. We definitely want to wait and make sure we get the right people, since we’re only planning to move out for a year.
It has been an interesting process so far. I wasn’t sure how to go about renting out our house, so we decided to hire a property management company to manage it for us. Best decision ever. In fact, it’s my first suggestion on this list of things to make sure you do before renting out a property you own, if you ever decide to…
1. Hire a property manager. If you don’t want to deal with the headache of keeping up with your tenants and making sure they abide by the rules set forth when they sign the lease, a property manager can be a huge help. They do get a cut of your rent, but if you set the price high enough, you should still have some wiggle room to pay them, cover your mortgage and possibly have a little left over to put towards your equity build. A property manager can take care of everything from making sure the rent gets paid on time to checking on your house from time to time to verify that the tenants are taking good care of it.
2. Fix ‘er up. I’m not necessarily talking about a complete overhaul, especially if you’re only renting for a short time. But make your house look presentable. Touch up the paint, clean the carpets, and hire a company to come in and deep clean. They’ll do the jobs you likely haven’t done in years like washing your baseboards. Make sure all routine maintenance is performed before you move out, like pest control, HVAC filter replacement, gutter cleaning and pressure washing.
3. Landscape. If your lawn is covered in leaves, use a rake to clean it up, and be sure to do a thorough job. Have a lot of trees in your back yard? Trees can increase the economic value of a property, especially when they are well-maintained. Hire a tree care company to inspect your property for any diseased or dying trees. They can remove dead limbs, trim and prune your trees and grind or remove any unsightly stumps. We plan to hire a local Charlotte tree service to make our back yard look amazing before we move out!
4. Disconnect the cable. Unless you plan to include it as part of each month’s rent fee for your tenants, don’t forget to call your cable or satellite company and disconnect your service!
We are looking forward to letting someone else pay our mortgage for us for the next year! Hopefully, we can pay down some credit cards and get out of debt before moving back in. That’s the plan, anyway…