Renting your home can be a great way to bring extra cash flow into your life.
While renting out your home to strangers can be filled with some pitfalls and problems, if you prepare yourself before you leave the keys in someone else's hands, it's going to make the process a lot smoother.
Whether you're renting your home for just a few weeks or you're looking to sign a year lease, use these tips and techniques for renting your home to strangers and you'll be sure to get the most out of your rental property.
Know your Guests
Getting to know strangers is half of the fun of renting out your home. From the basic email chat to an in depth itinerary over the phone, your chances of getting a tenant who's going to destroy your rental home is less likely to happen the further you investigate their background. It's in your best interests to take down personal information from your guests prior to your approval of their stay. With this information, you can then perform a quick background check online and know exactly who you're letting into your home.
Getting a Deposit
One of the safest ways to ensure your rental home is still in good condition after the tenant vacates is to require several deposits before they can occupy the home. A basic security deposit should at least meet or exceed the cost of the one night/week/month rate that you charge. If your rental home has furnishings, a cleaning deposit should be taken as well. Pets can get messy as well, and a large security deposit equal to a full carpet cleaning costs should be charged to ensure you don't get stuck when the tenant leaves you with a big mess.
Rental Property Insurance
If you're going to be renting your home out for the night or for the whole year, you're going to need some rental tenant insurance. This insurance policy might be a cost you're willing to do without, but when frequent renters come into your home, it's well worth the cost. Countless nightmare scenarios have been played out when renters destroy the property and the homeowner comes back to a house with thousands of dollars in damages and with just a small deposit to help pay for the costs. Renters insurance can help you pay the high costs of damage when tenants damage property.
Timesharing and House Swapping
If you're looking to rent out your home and get a great deal on your own vacation rental, house swapping, trading and timesharing practices can really help you get the most out of your rental income property.
Many timeshare real estate companies can provide you with a cheap (or free) place to stay while you're on vacation, allowing you to collect an income while you're gone. House swapping or trading can provide you with a free place to stay while someone else stays in your home.
While the benefits might outweigh the risks, always be sure to:
get a deposit
require good credit ratings
sign a lease agreement.