Renting out your Grand Forks, ND home can be a smart financial move. At the very least, it can mean new revenue and tax breaks.
However, there’s more to renting out a home than just anticipating that rent check every month. As a matter of fact, it may be daunting and cause a lot of stress. After all, dealing with tenants, regulations, and the maintenance of your property can be anything but easy.
If you’re looking to rent out your house in Grand Forks, North Dakota, here’s everything you need to know!
1. Have a Financial Plan in Place
Of course, if you’re like most people, you definitely want to turn a profit on your investment. But you’ll only be able to do that if you plan well and think long-term.
Generally, most landlords will only make a few hundred dollars in monthly profit when they start. As such, it’s important that you do your calculations so you know whether becoming a landlord will be worthwhile for you.
As you probably know, being a landlord isn’t a road to quick riches. Rather, it’s one for the long haul. With this in mind, the following are some examples of what to include in your financial plan: insurance, property taxes, repairs and upgrades, maintenance, and mortgage payments (if any).
2. Determine the Rental Rate
The other side of your budget is your income. Obviously, to turn a profit, you’ll need your cash flow to be higher than your expenses. This, however, doesn’t mean that you should overcharge your tenants.
You see, overcharging will only make your rental less appealing to prospective tenants. Consequently, you’ll risk having longer vacancies.
So, how exactly do you ensure you charge the ideal rent? Well, one way is to do your research. Tour comparative properties and see how much they are renting for. Another way is to simply hire a professional to do it on your behalf like TruHome Property Solutions!
3. Write a Lease, and Have Rental Policies in Place
A lease is an incredibly important legal document when it comes to being a landlord. It sets up your expectations as a landlord to avoid confusion and/or misunderstandings during the tenancy.
A solid lease agreement helps answer fundamental questions such as:
- How much is the rent, and when will it be due?
- Who will be responsible for which elements of maintenance and utility payments?
- Are there any fees other than the rent and security deposit?
- What must a tenant do in order to break their lease or rental agreement?
Once you’ve drafted the lease, you’ll want to make sure it’s fully legal and doesn’t contain loopholes a tenant can exploit. As such, consider hiring professional services from an experienced property management company like us.
4. Have a Property Management Plan
Who will your tenants call when they experience plumbing issues during the late hours of the night? Who will fix such issues? Obviously, that could be you if you have the skills, experience, and only live a few minutes away.
However, that may become impossible if you lack the time and technical know-how. In such a case, hiring experienced hands would be a no-brainer.
5. Familiarize Yourself With the North Dakota Landlord-Tenant Laws
Most states have laws in regards to landlords and tenants, and North Dakota isn’t an exception. These laws help cover a wide range of issues, from landlord entry to notice period for ending a lease and everything in between.
For instance, you cannot just enter your tenant’s unit as you please – even just to say hello. Although the notice period isn’t exactly specified in the law, you must give your tenant reasonable notice prior to entering their property.
What’s more, there are also laws in regards to anti-discrimination and housing safety. These typically protect tenants when they are looking for a rental unit, so you’ll want to be clear on these early on.
Other laws you’ll want to familiarize yourself with include the:
- Fair Credit Reporting Act
- Security Deposit Laws
- Federal Housing Law
- Warranty of Habitability
- Eviction Laws
6. Make the Necessary Repairs and Improvements
You’ll be in competition with other landlords when you decide to rent out your Grand Forks home. As such, you’ll need your home to stand out from the rest in order to land tenants quickly.
So, go around the house and check whether it’s up to par. Are the faucets leaking any water? Is the roof working as it should? Are the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors functional? What about the HVAC system?
7. Create a Marketing Plan
Knowing how to fill a vacancy is a skill you’ll have to learn when renting out a home. Vacancies are profit killers, and you’ll want to keep them as minimal as possible.
How successful you are at filling it majorly depends on how appealing it looks to tenants. So, before listing it, make sure it looks attractive. Stage it, take professional photos, and feature it on top rental listing sites.
8. Screen Prospective Tenants Thoroughly
Once your rental ad is up, prospective tenants will naturally start inquiring about the home. Of course, this is assuming that you’ve done everything right up to that point.
The inquiries present a great opportunity for landlords to meet prospective tenants. Your goal should be to find tenants that are reliable and responsible. That is, will pay rent on time, care for the unit, and rent long-term.
To land such tenants, your tenant screening criteria should check for each prospective tenant’s:
- Rental history
- Income level
- Criminal background
- Employment history
9. Hire a Property Management Company
Clearly, being a landlord can be daunting. From marketing your rental to understanding all rental laws, renting out a property may be too much for some people. That’s where a property management company comes in.
A good property management company will help you in all aspects of property management. Among other things, they can help you fill a vacant unit, collect rent, maintain the unit, and take care of all legal aspects.
Renting out your Grand Forks rental property can be a smart financial move, but that’s only if you do it right. If you’ve never managed property before or want to take your rental properties to the next level, hiring a property management company like TruHome Property Solutions can make all the difference! Contact us today to learn more about our services.