Planning to rent your property? Excellent! Rather than remaining vacant, it will become a source of revenue and strengthen your finances. It will also retain the value of your property as the renters will take care of it.
Not to discourage you, but now comes the hard part. As a landlord, you are going to have to deal with tenant screenings, regular maintenance, complex California rental laws, and much more. As a first-time landlord it can get pretty overwhelming, so here are the first few steps you need to take to rent your Merced home.
1. Make Your Property Habitable
In order to attract potential renters for your Merced home, you must first ensure that the space is habitable. Assess the condition of the house and ask yourself if you can see someone living there. If yes, great! If not, make the necessary changes to ensure that the property is livable and not just four walls and a roof.
Giving the house a fresh coat of paint, fixing the broken appliances and leakage issues, cleaning the dust and the grout, installing water filters are some of the things you can do to make your house habitable.
Make it a point to check if basic utilities like electricity, gas, and HVAC systems are functioning properly. Add to the curb appeal in simple ways like painting the exterior walls and landscaping your garden if you have one. Clean up the yard and, if required, call in pest extermination services.
2. Decide The Rent You Want To Charge
Deciding the rent amount can be tricky and you will need to do some substantial research to determine what rent is appropriate for your property. Start by researching the average rent charged in your neighborhood. If any of your neighbors are renters, ask them about the rent they are paying and the services that they are receiving. Check reliable listing websites like Zillow, Realtor, Trulia, or popular local listing sites to make an informed decision while deciding the rent amount.
3. Start Advertising Your Rental
In order to make your rental home look attractive on the market, you will need to advertise it effectively. Here are a few tips to make it to the top of the ‘desirable rental places’ list:
- Add a good description and high-quality photos on local listing websites
- Promote the place on social media
- Ask your friends and family members to spread the word
- Put up flyers at public places and community halls
- Post an advertisement in the local newspaper
Don’t forget to add details regarding the rent, the number of rooms, the exact location, local amenities, and appealing pictures of the house.
4. Build Your Tenant Screening Process
As a investment owner, one of your biggest responsibilities is going to be screening tenants thoroughly to find the ones that fit your needs. Some of the parameters you can set for yourself can include:
- Their income
- Their credit score
- Their employment history
- Their rental history
- Their criminal records, if any
Word of caution – make sure that you carry out the screening process in strict accordance with Fair Housing Laws and do not discriminate against any applicant based on race, national origin, color, familial status, religion, sex, or disability.
Create a Detailed Lease Agreement
If you have decided to rent your house, you will need an all-inclusive lease agreement. It should clearly state your requirements and expectations from the tenants. Some of the crucial details that should be included in the lease agreement are:
- Pet policy and Service Animals Clause
- Rent policy
- Tenants’ duties and responsibilities
- The consequences of breaking the lease early
- Disclosures related to lead-based paint, recent deaths in the property (in the past three years), and
- Megan’s Law
- Smoking policy
Deciding to rent your property is the first step. There is a long way to go still. However, you can overcome a lot of hardships down the road if you get help from Merced’s most-trusted property management company – River Drive Properties.
Our experienced and highly-qualified professional property managers can guide you at every step and help you rent out your Merced home with ease. For more information, contact us at River Drive Properties.