It seems like renting out a home should be easy enough. You advertise it, find a tenant, and collect rent.
Unfortunately, it’s a bit more complicated than that. Whether you’re renting out a home that you once lived in yourself or investing for the first time, there are a few early steps you need to take, and they’re important ones.
If you’re wondering where to start and what to do first, here are some tips.
Prepare Your Orlando Rental Home for the Market
Before you can find that perfect tenant and start collecting rent, you’ll need to prepare your property for the market. First impressions will be important to potential renters, so pay attention to every detail. You’ll need to remove all of your own personal property from the home. Take care of any minor and major repairs. Then, have it professionally cleaned.
Provide some great curb appeal and take some marketing photos that are clear, high quality, and likely to get the attention of good tenants.
Price Your Orlando Rental Home
You’ll need to settle on a competitive and accurate rental value. It’s easy to make a mistake when pricing your home, so make sure you take a look at what comparable properties are renting for. Falling below that average will cost you money. Pricing your home too high will lead to a longer vacancy period, and that can be costly too.
Choosing Orlando Tenants You Can Trust
Your rental property listing should go online so you can attract as many potential tenants as possible. Use all the popular rental sites, including Zillow, Trulia, HotPads, Rentals.com, and Zumper, among others.
When tenants begin to call and text, don’t wait too long to return their calls and messages. You have to be responsive if you want to get showings scheduled. Many landlords prefer to meet their prospective renters at the property, but contact-free showings are gaining in popularity. In this cases, you’ll put a lockbox or some other technology on the home and allow people to see the home on their own time and all alone.
Next, you have to screen the applications that are submitted. Screening requires that you check credit, eviction history, and criminal backgrounds. You’ll also need to verify income and employment, and we recommend you talk to current and former landlords. Make sure you are following all fair housing laws and documenting your process.
Prepare for Ongoing Management and Maintenance
If you’ve found a tenant who meets your rental criteria, you’ll need to get a lease agreement in place. Collect the security deposit and the first month’s rent, and talk about specific policies like rent collection, pet policies, and how the tenants should report maintenance issues to you.
Prepare to respond to both routine maintenance and emergencies at your property. Make sure your tenants know how to reach you at all times, and start developing relationships with local vendors so you’ll have a team of plumbers, electricians, HVAC technicians, and other repair people available to help and familiar with your property.
It’s easy to make a mistake as a new landlord, and those mistakes are usually expensive. Protect your time and your property by contacting an Orlando property management company that can help you start strong. We’re happy to provide resources and support, so contact our team at Park Avenue Property Management.