Even if you want to sell your real estate asset, the timing remains dependent on the performance of the economy. If it’s advantageous to wait a few more years, you can generate income on your vacant Dallas-Fort Worth home by renting it out.
Before pushing through with your plan of becoming a landlord, you need to recognize the role a landlord plays in managing a rental property. Keep in mind that having a rental should be treated as a business. Otherwise, you could face losses.
Tips to Rent Out Your Dallas-Fort Worth
Below are steps you will be taking as a landlord:
Finding a high-quality tenant.
Given that operating a rental can be lucrative, many people are also doing the same. You need to put in the effort to attract a fair number of tenants. One of the marketing activities you can do is posting on the MLS (multiple listing sites) where prospects are typically browsing.
Other than that, you can also take advantage of ad placements in newspapers, social media, and property websites. Traditional marketing is also effective such as yard signs and word-of-mouth or posting flyers on bulletin boards. Exposure is important to gain potential renters for your Dallas-Fort Worth home.
Performing meticulous tenant screening
Tenant screening is an important part of the rental process, as it can determine the quality of the tenant that occupies your unit. A good tenant will be able to pay rent on time and will inflict minimal damage on your property because they will respect the space.
In order to find the most qualified tenant, you may want to consider asking prospective tenants to fill out a rental application form. You will then need to verify the information contained in it. You can contact the tenant’s employer to make sure that the listed company exists, and they work there. You can also ask them to submit a pay stub to assess their income. They should make at least triple the rent amount just to be financially safe. Your screening process should comply with Texas Fair Housing laws.
The next thing you do is to review whether they have a good record. Have they been previously evicted? Did they declare bankruptcy? Do they have a criminal record? Contact their references to discuss their tenant behavior. Did they move out of the previous rental for non-payment of rent? This is just some of the important information you should try to find out before accepting a tenant in your Dallas-Fort Worth home.
Familiarizing yourself with the landlord-tenant laws
Knowing your responsibilities as a landlord will protect you from incoming lawsuits. It’s vital to keep yourself constantly updated. In Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, landlords are required to disclose to tenants the presence of lead paint if the house was built prior to 1978. Moreover, tenants should be informed that they have a right to repair and deduct in case repairs haven’t been performed by the landlord.
When a tenant moves out, it’s also your job to make sure that a refund on the security deposit is made within a 30-day period. Being aware of these stipulations ensures that you’re always legally compliant. It helps you avoid the stress of dealing with complaints and penalties.
Developing a property maintenance plan
Maintaining your Dallas-Fort Worth home is a day-to-day task. To minimize major expenses, you can practice scheduled inspections. So, if you notice small leaks, you can fix it right away before it floods the home and ruins the carpet or flooring. This helps you save since property maintenance is your responsibility.
Landlords are expected to provide a safe and secure dwelling for the tenants. This means installing proper locks and security devices to ensure tenant safety and privacy. Additionally, electrical, plumbing, and ventilation systems should function at their best. Otherwise, the tenant won’t be able to experience quiet enjoyment. In terms of the repair requests, you’re expected to act on the issue and have it fixed for the tenants’ convenience.
Evaluating your landlord skills
Do you have the spare time to look after your Dallas-Fort Worth home and tenant? Will you be living nearby? Are you managing another business activity or working in a full-time career? Being a landlord is not an easy feat. You need to be on call most of the time. When emergencies occur, your presence is expected. There are also important skills to acquire to be a landlord, such as learning how to draft a solid rental agreement.
Some needed skills are communication, customer service, marketing, and accounting. If you’re disorganized and short on patience, you’ll find that managing a rental can be a challenge. You’re expected to be a jack-of-all-trades and be able to address tenant complaints in a professional manner. Are you up for it?
Setting the optimal rent price
Pull out your calculator and compare the rental prices in your neighborhood. Be realistic with the numbers and consider the amenities. How attractive is your Dallas-Fort Worth home as a rental? What features can you offer to your tenants? In what way does your rental unit stand out from the others?
If you set the rental price too high, you may find there are little to no applicants that are interested in renting out your property. On the other hand, if you set it at a low price, it will be hard to earn a good income. Considering repairs and maintenance costs, you want to avoid arriving at a deficit.
Partner with a property management company
If you’ve weighed your decisions and realize that managing your Dallas-Fort Worth home is more of a hassle for you, contact a property management company. You’ll enjoy the freedom and peace of mind that comes with it. You’ll no longer need to get up for a 2 am call over a broken heater or struggle to deal with an angry complaining tenant. Your best interest is also taken into consideration as the property management company is well versed in legal matters.
During tax season, you’ll no longer need to struggle with financial accounting. Your records are organized, the rental unit is in top shape and all the repair requests attended to. Moreover, when a tenant moves out, the property management company will deal with preparing the unit for new tenants. If you have a tenant that’s delinquent in rent payment, the property management company will handle the eviction. They’ll follow the legal process sparing you from the stress.
Renting out your house in Dallas-Fort Worth is a good alternative when the market is in a downturn. But it requires you to be objective about the responsibilities that go with it. By hiring an expert property management company like McCaw Property Management, you’re able to enjoy the income without additional headaches.