Maybe you bought a second home for rental income or vacation purposes; haven’t sold your home but the moving company brought your belongings to the next, or you’re traveling overseas for an extended period of time.  Whatever the case may be, you own a vacant home that must be rented out.  If you’ve never handled this type of lucrative yet challenging situation before, it’s time to learn how to prepare your home for renters.

Get a Home Inspection

Since your house is going on the market and will be populated by renters, you want your house in the best shape possible.  Therefore, it’s wise to enlist a home inspector to point out any trouble spots in your home that could lead to major problems, especially when you’re not there every day to observe things that don’t seem right and need attention.  Another bonus of scheduling a home inspection is that once you fix whatever ails your house, you can charge more for the rental than originally planned.

Repair and Update the House

A fresh coat of paint can liven up the rooms in your house as well as attract the eye of potential tenants.  After you receive the results of the home inspection, you can repair anything that absolutely requires your attention or replace suspect utility units.  Go through each room in the house to see what other faulty things need to be fixed like a leaky faucet or a window that sticks easily.

Take Inventory & Invest in Storage

While you’re scrutinizing what could be updated and/or repaired, decide if your furniture and appliances should stay or go.  You must also decide if you want to rent out the place fully furnished or allow tenants to have their movers bring their own furniture to the home.  If you’d like to empty the place but wish to keep the furniture for the future or your other residence, consider investing in storage whether short- or long-term which we can provide.  Take advantage of our packing and moving services for a quick move you don’t have to do yourself.

Hire a Cleaning Company

Once you clear out the place or arrange a more spartan layout for possible renters, hire a cleaning company to give your rental property a detailed cleaning.  Although you could accomplish this yourself, you may not have the time or desire to perform this task on your own.  If it’s a vacation rental, you could sign a contract with a cleaning company to come after renters vacate and before the next batch of tenants arrive.

Who’s Managing the Rental?

Are you savvy and comfortable enough to handle the legal, financial, and managerial responsibilities renting out your home entails?  Remember that this is a time-consuming, stressful second job that you may prefer professionals to handle because it’s all on you when you’re a landlord, and it may be worth the extra money you spend to hire them.  If you plan to be an active landlord, inform your mortgage and insurance companies, suggests Realtor, because you may need to prepare new paperwork to switch the home to a rental property.

Investigate Your Tenants

Most importantly, get a background check on potential tenants to ensure you receive payments on time and aren’t welcoming unsavory characters to live in your home.  Easy money should never supersede your safety.