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How to Get Your Home Rental-Ready

how-to-get-your-home-rental-readyLooking to rent out your home? We don’t blame you. From tax breaks and rental income to meeting new people and being your own boss, renting your living space comes with many benefits.

Unfortunately though, the benefits of owning rental properties don’t come easy. In fact, renting your home or apartment takes hard work, responsibility, and extensive knowledge of rental guidelines, insurance, and regulations.

But don’t worry—we’re here to help. In this post we’re dishing out everything you need to know about renting your space whether it’s long term or short term.

Is a rental property right for you?

Before getting too ahead of yourself and jumping into things, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of renting your space. Only after looking at the worst and best case scenarios can you feel confident in your rental decision.

  • Market conditions: Determine the current demand of rental properties in your neighborhood.
  • Depreciation: Although hard to predict, try to take into consideration potential depreciation of your property.
  • Property expenses: Calculate the monthly expenses of your property and make sure that you’ll be able to earn that money back.
  • Regulations and restrictions: Look into the rules of your community. Be sure that your rental property complies with those conditions.
  • Wear and tear: Understand that rapid tenant turnover comes with wear and tear on your property. Expect to perform routine upgrades.
  • Personal factors: Rental properties take a lot of time—make sure you’re personally ready for a large time commitment.

Long-term rentals

So you may be asking yourself, “What defines a long-term rental?” Well, depending on who you ask, the answers may vary because a long-term rental can really mean a variety of things based off your perspective. It could mean a 3-month lease, 6-month lease, year lease, or 5-year lease.

But for the purpose of this article, we’ll define a long-term rental as an agreement with tenants in which the agreement lasts more than a year.

What you need to know about long-term rentals

When compared to short-term rentals, long-term rentals generally take more effort up-front. Because these tenants are going to be living in your space for more than a year, there are typically more regulations, documents, and agreements to come to with your tenant prior to their move-in date. Although these tasks require more work initially, they’ll pay off in the end when you feel covered and insured for any situation.

In addition, with a long-term rental you’ll also get consistent and reliable payments, minimal routine upgrades, and an established relationship with your tenants.

Long-term rental checklist

Prior to move-in, it’s crucial you prep your property for a long-term lease. Although this process includes many different tasks, we’ve narrowed it down to the most important items, including:
  • Clean, paint, and remodel if necessary
  • Replace locks
  • Spray for pests
  • Fix any potential hazards
  • Have your home inspected
  • Hire a lawyer to review your lease agreement
  • Contact your insurance company to discuss policy options
Make sure these tasks are checked off your list before moving forward with your long-term rental property.

Short-term rentals

A short-term rental is a new trend that’s taking over the homeowner’s industry. It involves renting out your living space for a minimal amount of time; which can mean a one-night lease, weekend lease, or week lease.

Right now, the most popular way to get involved with a short-term lease is by becoming a host with Airbnb. Airbnb makes it easy to list your property, contact tenants, and receive payments. As a pro tip, we recommend listing your property on multiple different short-term rental sites, like FlipKey and Tripping to ensure your home gets optimal exposure.

Everything you should know about short-term rentals

Differing from a long-term lease, a short-term lease involves a little less prep prior to move-in. Sites like Airbnb make it very easy to accept tenants, without the hassle of dealing with lawyers or insurance companies.

But, this means that there could be more work later down the road like regular maintenance and clean-ups. Depending on how frequently you rent out your space, you could be dealing with upgrades as often as a weekly basis.

Short-term rental checklist

Before renting your apartment, home, condo, townhome, or anything in between with a short-term lease, we recommend checking the following off your to-dos:
  • Clean and consolidate unnecessary décor
  • Establish and print rules, regulations, and important phone numbers
  • Buy the basics (towels, sheets, shampoo and conditioner)
  • Offer some added value (boogie boards, bikes, golf cart, etc.)
  • Set an appropriate pricing plan for high- and low-demanding vacation months

Long term or short term: Which is right for you

At this point, you should have a better idea of what goes into both long-term and short-term rentals. Meaning that you should be coming close to deciding which is right for you. But just in case you need more details on which is best for you, we’re sharing the following tips:

A long-term rental is right for you if you:

  • Are ready for a lot of initial work
  • Want to be fully covered and insured
  • Are particular about which tenants you’ll accept
  • Want a long-term relationship with your renters
  • Willing to get involved with insurance companies and lawyers

A short-term rental is right for you if you:

  • Travel a lot and are looking to fill your property while you’re away
  • Not as specific about who you accept to rent your home or apartment
  • Understand that there will be wear and tear on your property
  • Prepared for routine maintenance and clean-ups
  • Excited to serve as a potential tour-guide for out-of-town guests

Wrapping things up

Renting out your property, like any other investment, is always a risk. You can never fully predict where the homeowner’s market is trending or whether renters will be interested. However, if all goes well, renting out your property can be worthwhile, coming with many financial and social benefits.

If you’re going through the process of prepping your rental property, make sure to turn to Imperial Wholesale for all your renovating needs. Serving Arizona for 39 years, we’re a company you can trust. So feel free to give us a call!