If you’re fortunate enough to have an extra room or two you never use, renting them out can go a long way in helping you earn some extra money for those mortgage and household bills. However, before you move into storage those little used items from that spare bedroom or attic so you can rent it, there are some important to-dos to take care of first. Below are five to help ensure your move into landlord status is a positive one.
- Do the math. Check out online ads in your area on Craigslist to get a ballpark figure of what you can charge for rent based on your zip code and what type of room you’re offering up.
- Advertise specifically. Think about what you will and won’t tolerate in a roommate and mention it clearly in the ad. Don’t like smoking? Early riser and need nights to be quiet time? Do you want someone to stay for six months or longer? How do you feel about their canine or feline friends? Establish your boundaries early on to save you both time and headaches.
- Get your home renter-ready. To ensure that your home is ready to rent to a stranger, you should let no stone go unturned in securing your (and your tenant’s) safety: Put keyed deadbolts on each bedroom door, remove self-locking doorknobs to prevent lockouts, stash any jewelry or valuables in a fireproof safe or in secure storage, and fix anything that needs some TLC. Broken dishwasher? Use that new rent check to get a new one.
- Check their credit report. Once you’ve interviewed and checked references, it’s a good idea to run a soft inquiry credit check on rental candidates, which tenants pay for and share with you. The report will have information that can help you decide if the candidate will be a financially dependable renter or not.
- Put it in writing. Use a detailed written rental lease, not an oral agreement because no two people remember verbal agreements in quite the same way (and just try to prove the details in court!). The lease should include rent amount and due date, other deposits and fees (especially if they have a four-legged friend), costs the renter will share (utilities, etc.), how you’ll share common areas, and other concerns like cleaning, parking, quiet time and overnight guests.
So, now you know how to ensure you rent to the right person but what will you do with all those things you moved out of that spare space? For expert advice on storing your valuables and more, contact Secure Self Storage.