The Triangle’s real estate market has made tremendous strides over the past decade, making it a great time sell a home. However, retaining a property and renting it out to tenants can be as sound of an investment as selling. If you decided to rent your home and become a landlord, there are many important factors for you to consider that will affect how the process will go before, during, and after a tenant lives in your property.
Once you have potential tenants express interest in your property, it is extremely important to screen them. Review their credit worthiness, current employment verification, past rental history, and any criminal background should be checked via an application process before handing them the keys to your property. Remember, it is easier to check a potential tenant’s ability to maintain agreeable lease terms before they are permitted to move onto the property than it is to work through the unpleasant process of eviction if things do not go well.
If the property is within a community that is governed by a Home Owners Association (HOA), the potential tenant should be provided documentation on the rules and regulations they will be expected to follow. Without a proper understanding of what is permitted in the community, the tenant may make an assumption that causes a violation notice for the homeowner and leaves the tenant feeling they were not properly informed before moving into the home. Since HOA rules vary by community, proper documentation should be shared before the parties sign a lease.
After establishing that a potential tenant is qualified to rent the home, the process will move forward with the signing of the lease document. This document should clearly define all emergency procedures, day-to-day responsibilities, and relevant contact information for all parties.
Who will be responsible for any pest problems during the tenancy? Many landlords will take care of household extermination issues during the first 30 days of a lease, with the tenant assuming responsibility for the remainder. A landlord should be sure their tenant knows to removes hoses from spigots during extreme cold. The regular changing of air filters is essential to extending the life of the HVAC system. Leaving spare filters in the closet, already labeled with the upcoming months of the lease term, is a good way to help promote the tenant changing them when needed.
Landlords should establish a regular inspection plan with the tenant, planned and agreed upon signing the lease. Tenants should have written, detailed documentation of expectations for when they decide to move in and out of the home. Ideally, it should include things, such as how much notice should be given ahead of time, what the expectations are for moving-out cleaning, how much damage vs. normal wear-and-tear is normal, and how the security deposit will be handled.
These are only a few of the many considerations for a homeowner that is looking at renting their property, but it probably sounds like a full-time job! In order to help maintain your rental agreement and deal with the more hands-on tasks of leasing out your property, consider looking into a professional property management service. Interview a couple management companies to learn about their services and fees, as well as to help get a feel as to what you need for your situation.
Most homeowners do not have assets more valuable than the property they own, so taking the proper steps before diving into become a landlord is essential to maintaining the investment for the long term.
About Nathan Scott.
Nathan Scott is a full-time sales associate of the Fonville Morisey Realty Brier Creek office.
His father has worked in real estate in the Triangle area for over 30 years, providing Nathan with the opportunity to be around the business for most of his life. After acquiring his real estate license in 2006, Nathan worked within his father’s property management business. In 2008, he created his own property management firm in Wake Forest. All of his experiences have given him extensive knowledge working with all aspects of property management in the Wake Forest, Rolesville, Youngsville, and North Raleigh areas.
During his time as the Owner/ Broker-In-Charge of his property management firm, he helped many tenants work through the financing process to become homeowners.
Fonville Morisey Realty has 11 sales offices, with over 850 associates and employees throughout the Greater Triangle region. FM offers mortgage, insurance, property management, title services, real estate education courses and relocation services through its divisions and partners. For more information about Fonville Morisey Realty, visit www.fmrealty.com.