If you’re new to renting out a home, deciding what to do first can be rather overwhelming. How do you find a tenant? How much should you charge in rent?
Whether you’re leasing the home you’ve been living in yourself or a property that you recently inherited, you’re setting yourself up for some consistent rental income by putting it on the market. For most people, this is a better financial solution than selling. We know that leasing, managing, and maintaining the home can seem daunting, however.
We’re here to tell you where to start and what comes next.
Prepare Your Home for the Stockbridge Rental Market
Your first step is preparing your property for the rental market. It has to be ready for a tenant to move right in. Price it correctly and stay competitive. You’ll need to do a comparable market analysis to get the right price, and if you don’t know what that is, get some help from a Stockbridge property manager.
After you have successfully established a rental value, you’ll need to conduct a thorough inspection and have the home professionally cleaned. Paint the walls neutral colors, clean the floors, and make any necessary repairs or replacements before you begin marketing the home.
Change Your Insurance Policy
Check your insurance policy before you put the property on the market. If you currently have a homeowner insurance policy, you’ll need to convert that to a landlord policy. This is also a good time to talk with your insurance agent to make sure you’re covered adequately against liability and unforeseen catastrophes that may result in loss of rent.
Schedule Showings and Screen Applications
After you’ve marketed the home online, you’ll begin to hear from interested tenants. Be responsive. Screen tenants thoroughly and consistently. 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.
Don’t make any fair housing mistakes, which are often unintentional but very expensive. Make sure you understand the process, and document every application you screen.
Put Together a List of Stockbridge Vendors and Contractors
Now, you have a tenant in place. Great! From this point forward, you’ll need to be available to your tenant 24 hours a day and seven days a week. It’s your job to respond to any routine or emergency maintenance calls. You’ll have to collect rent, enforce the lease, and carefully track your accounting, especially the income and expenses associated with your property.
Maintenance is especially crucial. You never know when your tenant will call to report a leaking water heater or a problem with the roof, so have a list of preferred vendors ready to take your call. You’ll need licensed and insured professionals who can provide high-quality, affordable services when you require them.
Working with a Professional Stockbridge Property Management Company
Getting started as a new landlord probably sounds overwhelming and time consuming. It is. If you want to avoid the stress and the mistakes, work with a professional property management company that knows the Stockbridge market. You’ll have a more successful and productive rental experience.
If you’d like some help managing your Stockbridge rental property, we’re here to assist you. Contact us at Fickling & Company Property Management.