Thinking About Renting Your Home? Consider These 3 Things First

If you're looking for a way to supplement your current income, you may consider renting out your extra property rather than selling it. However, before you commit to doing this, there are a few things that you'll want to consider. Rental property can be a headache sometimes, so you will want to ensure that you know what you're getting yourself into.

1. What Is the Current Condition of the Home?

First and foremost, you should look at the current condition of the home. Is it ready to rent or are you going to need to put forth a significant amount of money for critical repairs in order to get it ready to rent to someone? As a landlord, you are guaranteeing to a tenant that the home is habitable. You will need to ensure that it has good plumbing, zero safety hazards, no broken windows and no leaks in the roof. Basically, if you wouldn't live in it, you can't expect to legally rent it out to someone else.

 2. How Much of a Security Deposit Will You Charge?

You will need to decide on a fair security deposit to charge. You will decide on an amount based on the repairs that you have made and the condition of the home, along with any other factors that you deem relevant. Understand that there are some states that have laws on the maximum amount that you can charge a tenant. For example, in California, you can charge no more than two months' rent if you are renting the home unfurnished and three month's rent if you are renting the home furnished. In Massachusetts, you're only allowed to charge one month's rent.

3. How Will You Locate the Right Tenants?

There are a lot of ways you can find a tenant for your property. You could potentially advertise and show the property to each person who shows an interest, or you can pre-screen tenants for approval. Many landlords choose to do the latter so that they're not wasting time. You can pre-screen tenants with references by e-mails or phone, checking their credit history, or verifying their employment and income.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the complex law of renting out a home. For that reason, it may be in your best interest to schedule an appointment with an experienced real estate lawyer in your area. like the Law Office of Richard D. Saba, P.A., who can help you assess the local real estate market and ensure you protect yourself legally every step of the way.