For what could be many different reasons, you have elected to turn your home into a rental property. Perhaps you tried to sell it and couldn't, or maybe you may be returning to the home in a year or two. In any event, you have chosen to rent it out, but where do you begin? These steps will walk you through the process of turning your home into a rental property.
Meet with a real estate attorney. Not all attorneys are well-versed in real estate laws, particularly landlord/tenant laws. A specialist can advise you of which steps, if any, you'll need to take within your county to abide by the laws. The attorney can also help you by drafting up a rental application and rental agreement.
Prepare your home. There are some things you may want to do when turning your home into a rental property. For instance, if you have any treasured items, you may want to remove them--items such as wall hangings and chandeliers. Do not trust them into the hands of tenants. Also, make sure the home is clean and presentable for bringing prospective tenants through.
Determine fair market value. Look at what other homes are renting for in your area. If you overprice, you may have a hard time finding a tenant. A Realtor can help you do this as well as help you find a tenant, but remember that you will owe a commission (usually 1 month's rent) when the property is rented. This may be a good idea for an out-of-town owner or a busy person who is unable to show the home to prospects.
Advertise. Use newspaper ads, a sign in the front yard, the Internet and/or a Realtor.
Make sure all prospective tenants for your property fill out an application. This will help you learn about them. Do they have pets? Do they have steady employment? You will also need to decide if you will be running a credit check.
Choose your tenant. Have them sign a lease and collect a security deposit. Now, you can sit back and collect your rent.