1. Get the Home Ready
The very first step to renting out your home is by getting it ready. If you have unwanted goods or items that are left unused for the past 6 months, you can donate them. Good choices for Houston donations are Salvation Army, Goodwill, or even your family, neighbors, friends, and even homeless people. It won’t only help you de-clutter, but you’d also get joy from helping out people who really need it. Then clean out the remaining clutter or consider hiring cleaning services. Also, repair water leaks and check the water heater along with the furnace and air conditioning. Then clean the yard and remove any personalized items before taking a photo shoot of the property.
2. Preparing the Ad
Before posting the ad, make necessary price checks and compare them on dependable websites like Zillow. For a more location-specific search for properties in Houston, try Re sites. Figure out how much rent you’d charge for your home and determine if there are pet or security deposits. You should also determine your home’s best features and the lease length.
3. Posting the Ad
The best websites for posting these ads in Houston are RE Sites, Zillow, and Craigslist.
4. Schedule the Showings
Before actually meeting up with prospective tenants, make sure they first meet your qualifications. This will save both of you from wasting each other’s time. But if you find prospects that agree with your terms, you can choose a showing time and have the rental application sent. Open house scheduled for weekends are worth considering to efficiently showcase your home to more people in a single day. And if your time is flexible, consider renting from July 1st; doing so will help you get top dollar rent and helps you find the most number of tenants.
5. Screening the Tenant
This process can include a lot of things. Some of the things that you need to find out about a prospective tenant are:
• Credit score
• Late bill payments
• Repair requests
• Recent pay stubs
You might also want to find out if they have a criminal record, why they’re moving, the number of tenants, cars, and vehicles, and also if they’re polite and respectful people. I personally use LeaseRunner when I do my screenings.
6. The Rental Application
Take advantage of a free account in LeaseRunner and have the rental application sent to all the inquirer’s email addresses. You can also opt for the prospective tenants to pay for the screening. Contact their past and even their current employers. Don’t forget to contact their previous and current landlords as well. Take time reviewing the background and credit reports, and don’t hesitate to ask clarification questions regarding your concerns.
7. Preparing and signing the Lease Agreement
Using LeaseRunner will also let you generate the lease agreement. And you are only obliged to pay after all the parties concerned have signed. Zelle is what I used to collect the rent money. Cashier’s check is another great option, and I would recommend this for the first payment at least.
8. Moving into the House and Maintaining it
Take photographs of the house’s interior and take note of the issues within a span of 48 hours to get a grip on the condition. If the tenant finds a problem that you didn’t know about, then this could mean that you may need to pay more attention to your property. Also, remember that last-minute repairs will be more expensive than preventive maintenance. Prepare an email address specifically for communication regarding the property. Also, consider a separate bank account, credit, and debit card to streamline the rent to that specific account and may come in very handy when taxes arrive. You may also talk to an attorney or the lender before finalizing if you want to quit claim deed the property to an LLC.
P.S For a reliable title contact in Houston, contact me.
9. Get a Home Warranty
A home warranty may help bring peace of mind when renting out your home to strangers. Some of my clients successfully used the First American Home Warranty.