How to Rent a House (Be a Landlord)
In this episode I go step-by-step through the process of marketing, screening and placing a new tenant in one of my properties.
I have created the outline here so you can follow along. I have also included my forms (lease, application, move in form, septic tank form, plumbing, welcome letter and the information for autopay.)
Here are the Steps:
To market a property you need to stick with what works for that neighborhood. I do the following at ALL properties even though I know that most of my potential tenants will be from a drive-by or vise-versa they will find it online. Do what works.
Market the Property – Advertise for Rent
- Bandit Signs (buy them here) (Put several out in the neighborhood and a lead in sign on a busy street.)
- Video (below is one of mine)
- Postlets (www.postlets.com)
- Craigslist (www.craigslist.com)
Show The Property
When people call tell them the information and answer their questions. Ask if they have seen the video, if not direct them to see it. Tell them we are showing it (pick a specific time – Saturday at 10) By giving them a specific time, you will not be waiting around all day and since you told multiple people the same time there should be several people there. This adds scarcity, they know they are going to have to move fast if they want that place.
Hand out a rental application and a release of information forms.
Once you have collected the applications start screening the potential tenants. Check past landlord and employment. Make sure they have sufficient income to afford the property. Typically, the rent should be around 30% of their monthly income. Any higher is a risk. You can also use a screening service online. They are typically about $30 and do a great job. I don’t always do this (but I should). Don’t worry about credit score as much as prior evictions. You can also search your local county records for this information.
The Move In.
Have them meet you at the house at a set time. You need to get first months and the security deposit. Many landlords prefer cash for the first months and security deposit (in case the checks bounce). I usually get cash. If you get checks, get two, one for rent and one for security deposit to be deposited in a separate account.
Here is what I get signed.
- The lease (I bring a second copy marked “copy” to leave with the tenants)
- Move-in inspection form. Initial each section and sign the last page
- Septic tank form (if needed)
- Lead paint page and flyer. (you can get this from HUD.com)(Only needed for houses older than 1975)
- Plumbing letter
- Welcome Letter
- Auto pay information
Set a professional tone Upfront
If you set a professional tone from upfront then the tenants will abide by your rules and you shouldn’t have much trouble.
Link to my Forms
Please email me at: gavin@theREloop.com to request the forms