Cleaning up and making repairs are always on the list of top tips to prepare your home for rent. If you purchased a home as an investment and never lived there yourself, you might not face the same kind of emotional preparation as someone renting a houseful of memories. However, in addition to physical preparation for your home and emotional preparation for yourself, property owners must also attend to legal requirements.
Physical Preparation of the Property
If you’ve decided to rent your home because you listed it for sale but the house didn’t move as quickly as you expected—or if you own the home as an investment and always intended to rent it—you probably already took care of repairs and cosmetic upgrades. Either way, touch up the paint and have the carpets cleaned. Double-check the HVAC system, major appliances, and plumbing and electrical systems. Schedule a pest control visit. Attend to the property’s curb appeal with some basic landscaping upkeep. Don’t overdo it, though, because prospective tenants might not want to be confronted with a yard that looks like it needs constant upkeep.
Also, take a deep breath and accept that even the most meticulous, careful tenants cause wear and tear in a house. Accidents happen, and things can get broken, stained, scratched, or dented. Maintenance and repair will be ongoing regardless of who’s living in the house.
Emotional Protection for Yourself
Letting someone else live in your home, especially if it holds years of cherished memories, can be a big emotional adjustment. Decluttering and putting away personal knickknacks, family photos, and favorite souvenirs is essential to preparing a home for rental. Just like prospective buyers, prospective tenants want to visualize their own stuff in your house. Packing away the personal items lets you take the memories with you. Once the space looks less like your space, you may find you miss it less.
Becoming a landlord means taking on certain risks. Tenants may damage the property, and there’s always a risk that someone might be injured while on the premises. Preparing your home for rent should include a discussion with your attorney or insurance agent about the various kinds of property and liability insurance you need to protect you from major losses and lawsuits.
Federal, state, and local laws govern landlord-tenant relationships, require adherence to safety regulations, and prohibit discrimination in housing. If you have never found yourself in the landlord role, study up on your legal responsibilities and tenants’ rights. Find out if your property complies with safety requirements such as the number of exits, fire extinguishers, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, etc. Create a specific lease for your property that itemizes responsibilities and restrictions, such as whether you allow pets, who pays the utility bills, and what happens if the tenant misses a payment.
Finding tenants and responding to their concerns consumes a lot of a property owner’s time. Professional property managers can help. They know the applicable laws, can provide well-written leases, market the property, and screen tenants appropriately. Property owners seeking property management in Atlanta and the surrounding area can contact Excalibur Homes to locate, prepare, and rent homes. Excalibur can handle marketing, tenant screenings, rent collection, and maintenance and repairs while property owners benefit from rental income and peace of mind.