First impressions are everything ~ Make it neat, clean and fresh. Appearance and overall cleanliness are essential in attractng qualified tenants. As you enter, the yard and entry should be attractive and clutter-free. Kitchens and bathrooms are critical areas. Free counter tops and cabinets of clutter; wash down appliances; check tile grout-clean with bleach and toothbrush, if necessary; tubs/showers should be mold-free. Use neutral colors for paint/carpet to appeal to the greatest number of people.
It’s not personal ~ Remove your personal stamp such as family photos, knick-knacks and personal decor. The tenants want to visualize themselves living there, not you.
Insurance and Legalities ~ Check with your insurance agent about their rental policy. Require tenants to get “rental insurance” for the value of their property. In addition, check your permits – you don’t want to be liable for health or safety hazards that cause injury or worse.
Establish policies and procedures ~ Who do the tenants call if a pipe burst at 3 AM? How is the rent collected? Will you allow pets? What about roommate shares?
Finding a qualified tenant ~ What are your monthly expenses and what portion do you want rent to cover? Before advertising, research fair housing laws to ensure you stay within guidelines. Check credit to determine payment history, specify term of occupancy, get deposit, and get agreement in writing.
Being a landlord is not for every one. It can be rewarding. Just consider all factors, including your personality.