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I am moving a few hours away and want to keep ownership of the house I currently live in. If I want to rent it to somebody what are the first things to consider?

Any advice is welcome, thank you!

6 Thoughts on When deciding to rent out a home, what to consider?
  1. Reply
    January 8, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Make sure you don’t get a dead beat that won’t pay rent for 6 months.
    Check their credit reports.

  2. Reply
    January 8, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    How long do you intend to rent the house for

  3. Reply
    January 8, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    You need to evaluate your cost in maintaining the property,mortgage,taxes,water, gardner etc then decide how much rent you will be able to charge. You should also establish a slush fund to use if the house experiences vacant periods. Secure a good lease contract and locate someone that can conduct credit and background checks. You might consider to hire a property manager to handle the misc details like rent collection,minor repairs etc

  4. Reply
    Sharon T
    January 8, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Find a good property manager. If you cannot, do not rent it out.

    I use a 5-mile radius as the maximum distance from my home I want to have a rental. Anything further is a real hassle.

  5. Reply
    January 8, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Long Distance LL’ing is fraught with problems. Harder for you to keep an eye on your property, to check up on tenants, to collect rents, make/arrange for repairs, landscaping, etc.
    Consider hiring a local realtor to manage property for you. Most charge one month’s rent, but they do different things (or NOT), so check out several.

    Being a LL can have many problems, and being long distance just magnifies problems.

    CHECK out prospective tenants THOROUGHLY before signing lease, make sure funds have cleared BEFORE letting them in house (or require MO for deposit).

  6. Reply
    January 8, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    I agree about getting a property manager. They’re worth their weight in gold and will help keep people from taking advantage of you, especially since you’re moving far away.

    In my experience, property managers usually charge about 10% of the rent, with some also charging a fee to get a tenant into the place. As far as the 10% monthly fee, this means that if you rent out your house for $ 1,000 a month, they’ll collect the rent and send you a check for $ 910, minus any expenses. They will usually also be the ones the renter calls when there are repairs or issues with the property. This is something VERY important, especially when you live far away. They also usually have contacts you might not have, such as a good electrician, plumber, etc., so you might find it actually saves you some money.

    I think the primary benefit, though, is making sure that your tenants are good ones in the first place, with decent credit and not out to fleece you.

    If, however, you decide not to go with a property manager, whatever you do, PLEASE insist on a security deposit (at least 1.5 times the monthly rent), and insist on the first and last month’s rent in advance. If a person can’t pay this, chances are they’ll also have trouble paying the rent. I’m saying this from hard-won experience.

    Good luck in your upcoming move!

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