7 Tips for Successfully Renting Out a House


July 23, 2018

Not all properties are created equal. You will find that there are major differences when you are the landlord of an apartment building versus a private house. There are many advantages to renting out a house for a tenant. For example; private parking, more storage space, square footage, a quieter street, and neighborhood. These unique qualities are definitely dealmakers for tenants and allow you to up the price for the rent.

We compiled the best tips for landlords who are interested in renting out a house:

1) Safety and maintenance

Homes almost always require more maintenance than individual apartments so show your tenant that you are on top of the inner workings of the home and the appliances.

Weather is a major maintenance factor. Most buildings provide everyone with heat in the wintertime. Houses, on the other hand, have tenant controlled systems. If the heat breaks the homeowner is liable for the well-being of the tenant in freezing temperatures. You also have to consider who is going to shovel the snow or repair a leak in the roof. In-home rental situations the homeowner acts as both the property manager and the superintendent combined.

2) Get insurance

Natural disasters affect standalone homes far more than urban buildings. As the landlord, you have invested financial interest in the quality of the structure. At the same time, these matters also affect the safety of the tenant. Providing paperwork that shows your property is insured, up to code and has gone through the required local inspections will give a prospective tenant peace of mind. It will also demonstrate a higher level of professionalism.

3) Install an alarm system

When it comes to customizing alarm and entrance vetting systems, houses have an advantage over apartment buildings. Though building landlords are required to provide a peephole for tenants to see who is at the door, many buildings may not have an electric alarm system. Installing cameras, an intercom or motion activated alarm system is a huge plus for tenants living with loved ones or small children. Offering this as an amenity in your rental is a huge added value for the tenant.

alarm on white wall with red circle

Show tenants that their safety is your priority.

4) Use a short-term rental service or management company

It’s not easy finding the ideal tenant for your home. You don’t have to commit to anyone if you use a short-term rental service or platform to make money on your property. A property management service such as Blueground will help you find perfect tenants. Also, it handles maintenance, furnishings and other tenant-related issues.

5) Get a certificate of occupancy

One of the most important documents you will need when renting out a house is the Certificate of Occupancy. This document designates the number of people that you can rent to based on the size, layout, and type of home you own. If you happen to be renting a space inside your home that isn’t officially approved for occupancy your tenant could realize this and legally get away with not paying the rent. Naturally, it’s very important for homeowners trying to rent out separate floors of their house to have the proper paperwork. Illegal apartments can turn into nightmares for landlords if they have difficult tenants.

6) Create some “House Rules”

Be very clear in your lease regarding what you expect from your tenants. There should be rules concerning anything from the number of cars they can park in the driveway or garage, down to the color of the walls in the guest bathroom. At the end of the day it is still your house and what you say goes. The tenant can’t cause permanent changes or disrupt the neighborhood with loud parties and nefarious activity. You can explicitly write in an ad for your home “No Smokers” “No Students” etc. Eliminating certain applicants in the search process will stop you from being tempted to rent to a candidate who will make lifestyle choices you’d prefer not to tolerate in your space. You want the tenant to feel at home, but at the same time respect your space.

7) Talk to your accountant

Make sure that renting out a house is worth it! Could you have saved money with a real estate agent? Is the rent covering the mortgage and property taxes only? You may want to evaluate the maximum rent you can charge for your property in order to actually turn a profit. The rent collected on your home is considered taxable income at a rate depending on who (or what entity) your tenant pays. Make sure you look at the yearly expenses for the home and the tax you will have to pay on the yearly income to make sure you are charging the right amount to make renting your home worthwhile.

accounting with calculator and paper

Keep track of finances with the help of a professional.


United States