Deciding to rent out your Santa Rosa property is an excellent idea if you’re moving into a new home or leaving the area for a while. If you’ve never been a landlord before, you might wonder how to get things started.
We have a few things to tell you that will set you in the right direction and help you have a successful rental experience. Remember to think of your property as a business. It’s easy to get emotionally involved in your property, but once you move out of it and decide to rent it out – this is a business, and you need to treat it as such. Make decisions with your ROI in mind.
Preparing to Lease your Santa Rosa Rental Home
You’ll need to find a tenant and start collecting rent, but before you get to that point, you should take care of a few early responsibilities, including:
- Pricing your home competitively to reflect the market and the demand. Conduct a comparable analysis or ask a Santa Rosa property manager for help in establishing a rental value.
- Take care of any repairs or maintenance issues that are necessary. Clean the property thoroughly, create some curb appeal, and make sure the home looks attractive, welcoming, and move-in ready for potential tenants.
- List your rental property online with great photos and detailed descriptions to attract as many potential tenants as possible.
Showing Your Property and Screening Tenants
Once you’ve generated some interest, it’s important to be responsive and schedule showings. Walk your prospective tenants through the property and answer their questions. Offer them a chance to apply for the home, and then make sure you know how to screen the applications. There are a lot of laws and regulations that require your attention when you’re screening potential applicants. Make sure you understand fair housing, and if you don’t, get some professional help during the leasing process.
Screening requires that you check credit, eviction history, and criminal backgrounds. You’ll also need to verify income and employment, and we recommend you talk to current and former landlords.
Managing and Maintaining your Santa Rosa Rental Property
Once you’ve found a qualified tenant who meets all of your requirements and is ready to move in, you’ll have to take care of a few additional leasing details, such as:
- Collecting the security deposit and other move-in funds.
- Reviewing and signing a lease agreement that’s legally enforceable and compliant with California law.
- Conducting a move-in inspection to document the condition of your property.
When all of that is done, it’s time to collect rent, set up an accounting system, and determine how you will respond to emergency and routine maintenance. Make sure your tenants know what you expect and how they can reach you. It’s important to develop good relationships with local vendors and contractors so you have someone to call if the heat goes out in the middle of the night or a plumbing emergency occurs due to a burst pipe.
Working with a Professional Santa Rosa Property Management Company
This may seem overwhelming and time consuming. It is. Once you decide to rent out a property, we recommend you talk to a professional Santa Rosa property management company. New landlords will be far more successful with the help of a property manager’s experience and resources.
If you’d like some help managing your Santa Rosa rental property, we’re here to assist you. Contact us at Redwood Residential Property Management.