Before Renting Out a Home

So, you want a new home, but you’re not quite ready to sell your old one. There are a variety of reasons that might happen. Maybe the housing market is bad, and you’re waiting for it to recover. Perhaps you need a place closer to your job, but you haven’t given up on the possibility of living in that house once you’re ready to settle down and start a family. There is a way to make it happen! You could always consider renting out your home, until you’re ready to move your family back into it! However, don’t make the decision on a whim. You should run some numbers and decide if it makes sense financially. If it does, there’s still a significant amount of work to do before your tenant or tenants move into your place.

Check out the house

You can’t rent out a house with a faulty fridge and a dryer that doesn’t heat. Well, you can, but your tenants aren’t going to be very happy with you, and they’ll rightfully ask you to replace those things with appliances that actually work. Take a look at a leaky shower drain yourself, if you want, and see if you can repair it yourself. However, don’t try to get too creative if you don’t know what you’re doing. Being a good landlord means knowing when a home repair requires hiring professionals. If the drain seems hopelessly clogged, contact a plumber. If the oven isn’t working, call a repairman! There are many good ones available to you, like the ones at the Fairfield, NJ, appliance repair shop. Not everything has to be absolutely pristine, of course, but the house should be clean and livable, and there shouldn’t be any unpleasant surprises awaiting your renters. If a portion of the carpet is a bit ragged and worn, and you’re not quite ready to replace it, consider offering a financial negotiation on their rent. Remember that the nicer your house is when you list it, the more willing people will be to pay full market price. Also, adding residential metal roofing might be the difference between getting a renter immediately and having to wait a few weeks.

Look at the law

Landlords have a fair amount of leeway to manage their property as they see fit. However, that doesn’t mean you have unlimited power. Any landlord hoping to control every aspect of their tenant’s lives should reconsider goals, and, perhaps, the entire idea of renting to someone. The legal obligations begin with the way the rental property is listed. The Fair Housing Act prohibits landlords from discrimination based on factors like race, national origin, religion, sex, and familial status. That’s why you don’t see too many “Home for Rent” ads with phrases like “No African-Americans, please.”

Beyond that, rights and responsibilities vary by state. You’re expected to make sure that the house is livable. That means that if your tenant says the toilet is broken, you can’t tell them to just go use the bathroom outside because you’re too busy to deal with it right now. Eviction procedures also vary by location, and you usually have to give someone a certain amount of written notice first. Telling someone to be out in 24 hours doesn’t really fly in most cases. Remember that you and your tenant should be working together whenever possible. If you aren’t willing to do that, then it’s probably best to just call a real estate agent and sell your property.