Tips Renting Your House For The First Time

Are you planning on renting your Central Valley home for the first time? If so, you’ve come to the right place!

In this article, we will offer you steps that you can use for renting your home for the first time.

Get Your Home Ready For Rent

The first thing to do before renting your Central Valley home is to get it ready for rent. This means that you will want to remove all of your personal belongings and transform your home from the place that you’ve lived, to a ‘product’ that’s going to be rented.

To do this you will want to paint the walls in your home neutral colors so your tenants can see themselves living there. Once this is done, you will want to improve the kitchen by refinishing and painting cabinets and adding a backsplash.

In the bathroom, you will also want to refresh the cabinets, replace the flooring (if it’s outdated) and rehab the bathtub/shower combo.

How much should you charge for rent?

You can’t arbitrarily decide what rent you want to charge—the market makes that decision. Your job is to determine the fair market rent for your house by doing research. Generally, your house will rent for about the same amount as other rental properties with a similar location, size, and condition. Start by searching for similar properties on Craigslist and Zillow.

For the most detailed information about a property’s fair market rent, input the address into BP Insight’s Rent Estimator. We’ll provide data for that property and properties like it. This tool looks for the most similar properties in your area and estimates the rent for your property based on those comps.

Also consider:

  • Driving around and looking for “For Rent” signs
  • Calling property management companies
  • Asking other local landlords
  • Browsing local newspapers.

What about the security deposit?

A security deposit is a sum of money paid by a tenant to ensure they fulfill the terms of their lease. Remember, though—this is a deposit, not a fee. This money should be held in a separate bank account and returned to the rental tenant when they move out, less any damages that need to be repaired.

Many states restrict the amount you can charge, so make sure to check to find any local limitations. I typically charge the equivalent of the monthly rent for a security deposit, though I may charge more than that if the rental tenant has anything in their background that worries me (more on this in a while).

Rental application process

Always give an application to each prospective renter who is interested in your rental home, even if you are not interested. After all, you don’t want to be seen as discriminatory. The actual rental application should include a variety of information—at a minimum:

  • Names of all potential renters
  • Date of birth
  • Social security number
  • Phone number
  • Alternate phone number
  • Previous addresses (last five years)
  • Current employer (name, hire date, income, contact info)
  • Past employers (name, hire date, income, contact info)
  • Emergency contact information
  • Release of information statement
  • Signature for all rental tenants.

Always—I repeat, always—require an application fee. This should cover the cost of the background check. However, before bothering with the components of screening that cost you money, first scan the rental application to ensure candidates meet your initial criteria.

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Contact RPM Central Valley

For more tips on renting your home, or to speak with us about our property management services, contact us today at (209) 572-2222 or click here.