Choosing to rent your condo is one of the best financial decisions that you can make. Correctly done, being a landlord can ensure you a steady stream of income which can help immensely when it comes to building up your retirement funds or paying your bills. However, there are right ways and wrong methods in renting out a condo unit. Through this guide, you will be able to determine what methods work, which to avoid, and what you can expect from becoming a landlord.
Flickr Creative Commons Anh Dinh
Never Forget to Set Rules
Always set rules when it comes to what tenants can and cannot do within the unit. If you fail to do so, don’t be surprised if the admin of the building or your neighbours start complaining. For example, you could rent out your unit to a single person and expect that they would have a guest over once in a while. What you don’t want to happen is to discover four to five people using the condo sleeping on small mattresses on the floor. Yes, having guests over is fine, but having several people stay there for several weeks or even months is a grave concern since they could cause significant wear and tear on the furniture and devices in the apartment. Not only that, the admin department of some apartment complexes place limitations on the number of people that can stay in a unit at any given time. Violating this can often result in hefty penalties for you.
Aside from having several “long term guests”, there are also cases where a tenant could use the kitchen in the unit as a tool for business. Some enterprising workers often cook meals or bake cakes that they sell to their fellow employees at work. While this is an excellent source of added income, the sheer amount of cooking can cause an underlying odor that would cause other people on the same floor to complain about the constant smell. There is also the wear and tear on the appliances to consider since that much cooking would push them to the breaking point. Situations like this do happen from time to time, and it is best to avoid them entirely so that you won’t have any headaches.
Always Do a Background Check
Never forget to do a background check when it comes accepting new tenants. Taking this step can save you from many potential problems in the future. You need to make sure of the following details:
a.) They are here in the country legally
b.) They are not sought by the local police department
c.) They have a stable job and can afford the monthly rent
If your client doesn’t fulfill all three requirements, then you should not accept them as a tenant. All too often landlords take the first person that makes an inquiry and find out later that they are either an illegal immigrant, have an extensive criminal record, or don’t have a stable source of funds to make the monthly payments. You need to be cautious when dealing with a potential tenant; always perform proper due diligence to ensure that you won’t regret contracting with them.
Make Sure the Apartment is Clean and Well-Maintained
Renting an apartment involves a significant financial commitment and, as such, most people want to get their money’s worth. Before a potential tenant would finalize any agreement to rent an apartment, they need to make sure that it is in decent condition. That is why letting a client visit the studio and take a look around is standard practice for any landlord. As such, you need to make sure that they are suitably impressed with the apartment so that they will rent it.
Before they even visit, you should check whether the paint on the walls is chipping, that the tiles on the floor are not cracked, and that the cabinets and windows are all opening and closing normally. If you have a stove, water heater, or other similar equipment in the apartment, make sure that they are all working properly. Lastly, hire a cleaning service to clean it from top to bottom so that when they do move in, they’ll see the apartment as being clean and well-maintained. Failure to do any of the recommended practices will result in a lower likelihood of a rental agreement pushing through since the potential tenant would be displeased with the shabby appearance.
All in all, renting out your apartment is a very lucrative endeavor. However, you need to take the right sort of precautions to avoid being placed in a situation where the tenant is a burden rather than a resource. Just follow the details in this guide, and you will be able to make the right decisions and put in place the right practices.