Sandee Smith: Renting your house? Check out these helpful tips |

Sandee Smith: Renting your house? Check out these helpful tips

Sandee Smith

If you’re thinking about renting your home, and have not done so before, you need to proceed with knowledge and caution. Here are seven tips to help you become a successful first-time landlord:

Determine the Right Amount of Rent

First, determine how much rent you need to receive each month in order to cover your mortgage, taxes and insurance. Research comparable rentals in your area to help you set a competitive rate.

Choose the Right Tenant

While finding the right tenant can be challenging, there are criteria that can help you determine who would be the best fit — job stability, credit scores, references, and past landlords. Be professional and thorough in your search, and don’t rush the process.

Get it in Writing

A good lease complies with fair housing, rental and tenant laws. It must be signed by all parties. Laws differ from state to state, so make sure the wording on the lease is correct and specific to your state. If you’re teaming up with a local property management company, they typically handle all the necessary paperwork.

Plan for the Unplanned

If something goes wrong with your property while it’s rented out, you’ll be required to make the repair in a timely manner. Additionally, projects you may have ignored or put off as a homeowner, should be fixed prior to renting out your home.

Update Your Insurance Policy

You’ll need new coverage in the form of a landlord’s policy. This type of policy covers your property and you could be reimbursed for lost rental income due to building damage.

Consult with a Tax Pro First

Meet with an accountant or tax attorney prior to becoming a landlord. While rental income is taxable, there are numerous deductions on expenses and depreciation for which you may qualify, and each situation is different.

Consider Hiring a Professional Property Management Company

If you don’t have the time and know-how to become a landlord, but believe renting out your house is the best option, consider hiring a property management firm. Fees for services vary, but it’s money well spent. Services include collecting the rent each month, assessing late fees, and handling repairs.

If you need assistance finding a property management specialist and/or real estate-related professional in our area, please contact the Sierra Nevada Realtors at 775-885-7200 or Sierra Nevada Realtors is the voice of real estate in Carson City and the surrounding areas. They’re committed to building better communities throughout the region, and participating in the political process to protect the industry as well as private property rights.

Sandee Smith is President of the Sierra Nevada Realtors and a Realtor with Realty Executives Nevada’s Choice in Carson City. She has been active in the real estate industry for more than 25 years in the areas of sales, lending and home staging. Sandee values education and knowledge and has earned the following designations: Certified Residential Specialist, Seniors Real Estate Specialist, Accredited Buyer’s Representative, and Certified Negotiating Expert. She welcomes your real estate questions and can be reached at 775-250-6672 or