Items you will need
- funds to fix up your home prior to renting
- month by month or yearly renter's contract
- access to a lawyer to answer questions
- a property manager or ability to keep track of and maintain the property (particularily if you are moving away)
There are many reasons people decide to rent their house. Those reasons include a slow market when homes just aren't selling, the want for a regular income provided by their property (this is a particularily lucrative possibility if your home is paid for), or if you are moving out of town but intend to return within a few years. Regardless of your particular reason or circumstances, there are specific things you must do to rent out your house in Florida.
Steps to Renting Your Home in Florida
Fix any obvious flaws in the home. In particular, all of the appliances need to be working, the carpets need to be replaced or cleaned, the walls need a fresh coat of paint and the yard needs to be spruced up. Keep in mind that you want to rent it out to someone and no one is going to be interested if it doesn't look nice. If there are flaws in the home that cannot easily be fixed but do not interfere with someone living there, take note of them. When the time comes, make your tenents aware of the problems that still exist with the home. Give them a deadline when the problems will be taken care of or make a notation on the lease that the renters did not cause and are not responsible for those problems.
Research the renter's market in your area. Determine what would be a fair price to charge as well as what you wish to charge for a deposit. Decide whether to rent you house out month to month or if you'd rather rent it for a year at a time. Talk to someone who specializes in renting houses to determine what would be better in your circumstances. Also, decide what home expenses you will remain responsible for and which ones the renter will be responsible for.
Write the lease agreement for your house. Include in your lease agreement all of the items listed in Step Two. Other things that should be included in your agreement is what the tenant is expected to maintain in your home, whether smoking will be allowed in your home, and whether pets will be allowed. If you are going to allow pets, you also need to decide on whether to charge a deposit for those pets. Consult an attorney or property manager if you have any specific questions.
Take several pictures of your home and write down it's features including the size of the home, the amount of bedrooms and bathrooms, size of garage and special features such as pool and fireplace. Make a flyer advertising your home. Put a "For Rent" sign in front of your home with an info box that interested parties can get for more info.
Consider advertising in your local newspapers, magazines that specialize in renting homes, and local online marketplaces. The cost of advertising will vary greatly; look around to determine the best deal and which ones will give your house the most exposure.
Wait for people to contact you about your home. Make appointments to show your home. Be prepared to answer all of the questions a potential tenant may have and ask any questions you may have about your potential tenant. Make sure the potential renter is aware of the costs involved and when he is expected to pay. It is up to you who moves in to your home and you may talk to several interested people before choosing one.
Maintain your house once it is rented including making any additional repairs discovered by your new tenants. Keep an occasional watch on your home to make sure it is being maintained. If you are moving out of tow, enlist someone who lives near your home to help you.
Home owners insurance and any association dues are the responsibility of the home owner. You can keep those in mind when deciding what to charge for rent, but the ultimate responsibility for those bills fall on you. Some homeowners associations will not let you put a sign out in front of your home. If that is the case determine what your options might be. Directly ask; they may offer advertising options you are unaware of. If maintaining and keeping an eye on your home is more than you can handle, consider hiring a professional property manager. Many real estate companies have a property management division. For a fee, they will make necessary repairs to your home, make sure that rent is being paid in a timely manner, and maintain a watch to safeguard your property.
It is illegal to not pick a prospective tenant based on race, religion or sex among other factors. While you have the right to choose your tenant, those factors cannot be used to make up your mind.