It tends to happen more often when the market shifts away from sellers. The multiple offer market has vanished and the days on market are starting to add up. Sellers start to panic when their house has been for sale for two months and they start thinking they will just rent their house to cover their expenses. Unfortunately, it’s just not that easy! We get calls often from homeowners who ask… ‘how much rent can I get from my house?’ but they know nothing else about being a landlord. They do not know about the tenant-landlord laws or maintenance codes that may apply or Fair Housing laws or the rental verification process.
People may not realize, but that’s the service we offer and get paid for our knowledge which is why we never simply answer the question of how much rent can I get. In addition to considering the amount of monthly rent, we also need to know the current condition of the property and what, if any, work needs to be completed before a tenant can lease it. We’ve had homeowners say that their house is fine for them to live it so it’ll be fine for tenants but it does not work that way!
Tenants are not going to lease a place that has stained carpet or walls that are all scuffed up. Even if it is a temporary lease, tenants expect a clean, habitable place to live free of maintenance issues. Homeowners who want to become Landlords must be willing to invest in their property, take care of all maintenance items, clean and prepare the house so that it is in move-in ready condition.
We have a turnover checklist that we use when onboarding new accounts and in between tenants. We consult with property owners and recommend that they have six months of savings set aside in case there is vacancy or a large maintenance expense. Before taking this route, owners need to determine their goal. Is this truly a temporary option? Is this a long-term investment? What if a tenant does not pay the monthly rent? Do we have funds to cover a large maintenance problem? Once a tenant occupies the house, will it show well enough to sell it later? Thinking about these questions and looking closely at your financial position will help determine if renting your house is the right path to take.