OCTOBER 15, 2021
Perhaps you purchased a new home and plan to keep your old house or apartment as an investment property. Before you lease your home, however, there are plenty of considerations to keep in mind. What type of security system should you put in your rental? How do you protect your property from damage? And how much money should you sink into renovations? Here’s everything you need to know about managing rental properties:
You’ll need to conduct a thorough screening before allowing a prospective tenant to occupy your rental property. Before they ever sign a lease, make sure you have a full rundown of their employment history, proof of income, credit background, previous landlord contact information, and any other credible references.
A good rule of thumb is if it’s not broken, don’t replace it. That grungy carpet in the fixer-upper you bought as an investment property may be covering beautiful wood floors that only need a quick sanding. A little elbow grease or some polish may fix dull faucets and scuffed-up countertops. A fridge on its last legs, however, may need an upgrade.
Don’t sink unnecessary cosmetic upgrades into a rental property that won’t get you a return on your investment. However, if your new rental needs a flooring upgrade, it doesn’t need to be high-quality wood floors, especially when your tenants have pets or small children. Look for a happy medium when it comes to style. Luxury vinyl planks, for example, are on the lower end of the cost spectrum, they stay looking nice, and they resist scratches and water damage. A fresh coat of paint can breathe new life into an updated space, and a tub or tile refinishing kit can save you both hassle and cost.
If you manage rental properties with long-term renters — i.e., not weeklong vacationers — you’ll want to ensure both their safety and the safety of the property by swapping the locks between tenants. Better yet, use a keypad or smart lock so you can easily change a code rather than hardware.
Your rental property costs you time and money, so protect that investment by monitoring the home. A comprehensive home security system will alert you to smoke detectors going off, even if you’re across the country. A rental home doorbell camera allows you to monitor your tenants’ comings and goings. That home security system for renters also helps protect your tenants and their property.
Communication goes a long way toward establishing trust both ways, whether you’re dealing with a short-term situation or a long-term rental. Make sure you check in on your tenants regularly and address any complaints, or hire a rental company to act as your go-between.
Once you’ve screened a prospective tenant, you’ll need to have all the terms hammered out in their lease agreement, including rent collection due dates, rules and regulations, security deposit information, and move-in and move-out policies and procedures.
You bought several rental homes, but decided you want a more hands-off approach. Be prepared to pay a percentage of the rent to the property manager each month. Select a property manager who holds tenants to the same standard as you would.
Grass will need cutting, the roof may need to be inspected, gutters require cleaning, and windows need replacing. If you’re going to manage a rental property, make sure you’re accounting for the time, effort, and money you’ll need to keep the property maintained.
Contact Brinks Home™ to see how we can help you manage rental properties by protecting your investment.
Allison Clark is a senior writer for Brinks Home. She enjoys educating others on the benefits of smart home security and using technology to simplify everyday life.
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