For some homeowners, renting may be a viable option to selling. Whether you are an experienced landlord or a first-timer, the following tips from Frontdoor.com and USAA Insurance can help you evaluate prospective renters for your home.
First, know federal and state landlord/tenant laws, especially the Fair Housing Act, which outlines illegal discriminatory actions. The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website is a good place to start to gather information.
When advertising, focus on the details about the home, such as amenities, features, number of bedrooms and baths, and rent. Providing photos can also help “sell” your place to prospective renters. Show your house at its best by keeping it clean and in good repair. Remember to remove any personal items.
Use a standard rental application that conforms to state laws, and give renters a list of policies about pets, co-signers, credit scores and late payments. Review all applications in the order you receive them, conduct a background check and call references. A good rule of thumb is to accept only applicants whose gross monthly income is three times the rent or more.
Keep marketing the house and accepting applications until a lease is signed and the deposit check has cleared. Ask potential tenants to show proof of renters insurance, which covers the cost of the tenants’ belongings and any damage that might occur to the property during their stay.
By following these tips, you can find tenants who appreciate your home as much as you do.
Your Home CRS Newsletter August 2012