If you own a home that you are able to rent, it is a great way to earn an extra income or an extra way to start saving money. Single-family rentals are booming in the United States and continuously are growing in demand as more people are choosing to rent rather than own due to it being more affordable and flexible. Renting out your home is a great opportunity and is something that should be taken into consideration if you are able to do it.
Here are five things to know if you are renting your home.
1. Start An Emergency Fund – One of the first things you should do is you're renting is start some type of emergency fund. This will be huge down the road if you ever need to perform some major repairs or damages. This is also helpful if you find yourself in the position where your current tenant can not cover the rent and you must pay towards the mortgage. This will also help any extended vacancy of your home or the event of a disasters like the basement flooding. An emergency fund is key to making sure you will be able to handle the rental for the long haul.
2. How You'll Manage Your Property – This is entirely up to you, if you want to manage the property or if you have a friend, family member or hire some outside person who the tenant can contact 24/7 if any problems come up. These include regular repairs and upkeep to even a pipe bursting in the middle of the night. It is important to set the ground rules early and decide what route you will take.
3. What Will Your Tenants Maintain – This goes along with # 2 on our list. Make sure to clearly mark what your tenant will be responsible for in the lease, such as lawn maintenance or fixing simple repairs. It is entirely up to you, although generally simple tasks like keeping the house clean should be left to the tenant, the rest you can decide for yourself.
4. How To Find Reliable Tenants – This is important for making life easier on you and getting a reliable person in your rental home. Post an AD on Facebook or Craigslist or find a family friend which is often the best case. Always make sure to run a background check, credit report, eviction report, verify income and their rental history. There are many things you can and should look up, you want to make sure the person is reliable and someone you can trust to live in your home.
5. What Your Insurance Policy Covers – You should get some type of landlord insurance policy which will give you the proper protection. The protection you get is similar to the one you will have for a complete homeowner insurance policy but it generally does not cover the belongings inside the home. That is where a good renters insurance policy comes in. Recommend to your new tenant that a renters insurance policy is the best way to protect them and their belongings where you can not.
Renting your home can often seem like an uphill battle but once you get the hang of the system and a good tenant, it is easy and a great way to earn a second income and save some money.