In today's economy, we are seeing more and more foreclosures. However, some of these foreclosures can be avoided by renting your home out. It doesn't always make sense to rent your home, but if it will help you avoid foreclosure, I recommend you do it.
There are some things you need to understand about the rental process before you jump in. You can hire a rental agency or management company to handle everything for you, although you will have to pay them a set percent of the rent, or you can handle it yourself.
If you choose to hire a rental agency or management company, get plenty of references. All companies will claim to do a good job at managing your property, but references will tell. Ten or more positive references will be a good sign that the company will handle your property to your liking.
If you handle the rental yourself, you have to find a way to emotionally disconnect from your home. This can be more difficult for some than it is for others. It seems to be even more difficult for people who have lived in the home for extremely long periods of time.
Be sure to screen each and every tenant. This one step is extremely important and can eliminate huge headaches in the future. Don't skip this process. There are several websites that offer background checks for a low fee, usually starting at $19.95. For this monthly fee (that you can unsubscribe from at anytime), you can do background checks on anyone applying to live in your home. Have all applicants fill out an application and a background check form. www.E-renter.com has a great tenant screening and background check service with great pricing. They also have all the printable forms you will need.
You will also need a rental or lease agreement. A great place to find a professional rental agreement is at your local office supply store, such as Office Depot. You can also find great places online that offer standard rental agreements with a simple Google search.
Some important aspects that you may want to think about including in your rental agreement are:
· How much do you want for rent?
· How much do you want for a deposit?
· Will you allow animals? If so, will you require a pet deposit? How much?
· Will you charge a late fee? If so, how much? And, on what day is rent considered late?
· If your tenant has someone else move in, how much will the rent go up?
· Are any utilities included in the rent?
· Will you offer a discount if rent is paid early?
· Who is responsible for repairs?
There are so many things you can add or take away from a rental agreement. Renting can be scary, but it doesn't have to be. Do your research and plan carefully. Life is a live-and-learn process anyway. And believe me, you will live-and-learn in anything you do.