When you are away for the season, it makes sense to make your unoccupied property work for you. To ensure rental income is a net positive instead of a liability, make sure you take these considerations into account:
- Is your home in good condition for renting?
Any needed repairs and updates should be in place before you start looking for renters. This especially applies to anything that could be a safety concern, such as heating issues or cracked and buckled walkways. Safety problems can quickly become legal liabilities.
- Does renting make financial sense?
Renting introduces a number of risks. How much risk can you tolerate when it comes to potential damage to your property? Are you in a position to pursue non-paying renters and potentially remove them from the property? All of these risks are compounded if you are not going to be in the area while you are renting your property out.
- Are you comfortable hiring a property manager?
Many people feel that they have to DIY everything. However, a property manager may be a good investment for someone who is not normally a landlord. Do you feel comfortable investigating potential property managers and assuring that you have the one who will best represent your interests? Will your area support rents high enough to make the investment in a property manager worthwhile?
- Do you know what insurance you’ll need?
Insurance can protect you if your property is damaged or a tenant is injured because of faults on the property. Learn what is required so that you can have the coverage that you need. It’s also a good idea to require tenants to get renters insurance. This way, if their property is damaged, there is a policy in place.
- Have you decided how you’ll find and screen tenants?
Your success as a winter landlord will depend on the quality of your tenants. If you are taking the DIY route, you will have to perform background and credit checks yourself to ensure that you are renting to someone who will not present an excessive risk.
- Have you looked into local laws and rules?
Make sure that your rental meets local legal qualifications. If your residence is in a deed restricted area, you may have additional rules to follow before you can approve a renter.
There are many things that need to be properly in place for a winter rental of your home to be a good plan. By looking into all of them in advance, you can rent your place out during the winter and make a nice profit on otherwise empty property.