Be Successful When You Rent Your Home
Considering renting out your former residence? It’s not as simple as moving your stuff out and bringing in a new tenant. Get prepared to do a lot of homework! Whether you use a property manager or want to handle on your own, know exactly what you’re getting into. After all, you want to create the best situation for you and your potential tenants.
First Cover All Your Bases
Let’s make a few assumptions (you should double-check these if you’re not sure). If the house is mortgaged, review the lien paperwork for any owner-occupier restrictions. If the house is in a managed community, ask about any renting regulations through the homeowners’ association (HOA). Finally, research local ordinances concerning landlord-tenant relations.
Tax deductions, insurance and utilities will all change. Before you make any decisions, you should speak to a reputable real estate investment professional or a tax attorney. You want to make sure you’ve considered all the implications of renting to avoid finding yourself in hot water come tax season. In addition, even if you think the lease template you found online meets your needs, we strongly recommend enlisting the services of an attorney to confirm the language protects you and your investment.
Turning a Current Vacation Home into an Orlando Rental Home
In a similar vein, the common practice of renting out a second home to vacationers has been curtailed by the recent COVID-19 pandemic. At the time of this writing, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis extended a ban on short-term vacation home rentals (Florida Executive Order 20-103), having many owners consider long-term renting options for more reliable income.
Once you’ve done your homework and if your research indicates renting out a former residence or second home still makes good business sense, you can use these suggested tips to ensure the lowest risk to begin generating income from your property.
- Has the house been properly maintained? Will it pass inspections as a rental?
Housing codes update frequently. When you (or other family) are living in a home, common maintenance and adherence to code standards may slide. When you make the decision to rent a property out, by Florida state law, you must demonstrate a safe, habitable environment for renters by following all applicable ordinances. In order to protect your future tenants (and yourself from possible lawsuits), a reputable inspector should walk you through all maintenance required by law.
- What upgrades are worth putting into a rental property?
Before you shell out thousands of dollars on upgrades to prepare a home for renting, know what will get you the most return on investment. Are the brand-new stainless-steel kitchen appliances worth the cost? That answer depends on market analyses for your unit’s unique prospectus.
- How much rent can you charge?
The amount of rent you can charge while quickly filling the house with high-quality tenants depends entirely on what the market will support. The market won’t care that the house has been in your family for decades or that your children took their first steps in the downstairs hallway. Potential tenants are looking for a house in their price range, in their desired location and with the amenities they want. Period.
- Who will create the material for your listing?
Speaking of amenities, highlight the ones in your house that will attract eyeballs. Photos and descriptions draw in interested tenants. Shaky cell phone pics with the photographer in the bathroom mirror or vague, abbreviated portrayals of the property just won’t cut it. To set your rental listing apart from others, you’ll want to use professional-grade photos and well-crafted descriptions.
- Where / how are you listing your property?
Where you list is just as important and what you say in your listing. With so many different avenues to advertise your rental, how do you know which ones will lure in the right tenant? Knowing where to list your rental is just as important as all the other steps up to this point.
For many real estate investors, renting out a former personal residence represents their first foray into an investment property. This can be a great way to begin a portfolio to generate passive income. But a former residence has to be treated as an investment and not a family heirloom. A property manager can help take the emotional factor out of the renting equation by approaching it as a business traction.
The Realty Medics are Central Florida’s highest-rated five-star property management company for a reason. We’re with you every step of the way. Our team will walk you through required and recommended updates to your property. After renovations, we work with you to determine the best rent rate for your house. Then we help you craft the perfect listing and post it on our website, which is syndicated with nearly 100 other sites, to find a quality tenant quickly.
Interested in learning more? Get started finding out how much your home will rent for, or call us at 321-218-4753.
The Realty Medics. Engineering Property Management Peace of Mind.
If you want to experience Rocket Science Renting for yourself, The Realty Medics offers the lowest property management rates in Orlando. Contact us today to find out what your home will rent for by calling 321-947-7653 or filling out a FREE Rental Price Analysis.
Ben Sencenbaugh is a former NASA engineer who heads The Realty Medics, Central Florida’s #1 residential property management company. A loyal Orlando resident since buying his first rental home in 1997, Ben brings rocket science to renting, applying advanced technology to make renting single-family homes a better, simpler and more successful experience for owners and tenants.