Your home means a lot to you. You probably toiled for years to put up the money for its down payment, and worked extra harder to make sure you’re never late for mortgage payments and your home was never left wanting in terms of upkeep. It’s a labor of love, and it’s also where you made chapter after chapter of memories you will treasure forever.
Now that you have to leave it — for whatever reason, like a job offer outside California — you are unsure about what to do with the home you love. You are taking your family with you and you would rather not let your relatives — whom you only see at reunions — live in it. You don’t have a friend who needs or deserves the honor either, and you seriously doubt you’ll gather the courage to sell the house.
Here’s an idea why not rent it to tenants and to get you started on your way to becoming a landlord, here is some advice:
Change your insurance
Call a landlord insurance provider in California to make sure your status is changed accordingly. If you rent out your home to a tenant and they cause some damage or burn it to the ground, your insurance is not likely to honor your claim if you failed to change your insurance to that of a landlord.
Screen your applicants
This is a tricky part. Once you’re officially a landlord, you’ll have to deal with applicants who are eager to move in. Assuming you were specific in your ad, you still can’t say for sure that your applicants are honest. This is where your due diligence comes into the picture.
Here are some ways to screen for tenant applicants:
- Ask for references from previous landlords – Don’t take the applicant’s word for it, though. Make some calls to be sure. Ask their previous landlords if the applicant was ever late for a payment. If so, what are the circumstances that prevented them from paying on time? Was it habitual? Did they leave the place intact?
- Check the tenant’s credit score – They’re not offering to buy the house and you’re not a mortgage lender, but a good credit score is an indication of their capacity and willingness to pay what they owe — meaning, their rent.
- Get a reference letter from their employer – When you get that letter, ask for the employer’s number. You can never be too sure after all.
- Draft a contract – This is your protection in case your tenant runs out on you or destroys the property or a part of it. Make sure to stay on top of contracts, in case they expire and you need to sign a new one with your tenant.
Renting out your home may be the solution you’re looking for if you are not willing to sell your property anytime soon. You get to earn some money for the house’s upkeep and maybe a little profit.