If you have decided to rent out a property you own, you are probably wondering how you should go about getting your first tenant.
There are a few ways you can increase your chances of getting not only an applicant but a qualified applicant.
Host an Open House
If you just bought a building or if you are just renting out a house, it is important to let people know that it is there and what it looks like inside. You can advertise by putting a sign on your lawn or posting on social media.
If there is a big company near you, you may want to get permission to post a notice on the corporate campus. This way, you will know that your applicants have jobs.
If you have multiple apartments, make sure to stage the model home carefully. Put out a plate of cookies and some coffee, and place a stack of applications nearby as well.
Try a Rental Website
There are several websites that will allow you to advertise rental properties. Some of these sites are rather expensive, but they will normally give you a good deal for your first month.
You should list all of the requirements for tenants in the ad so you do not have to worry about getting a bunch of unqualified applicants. Be sure to state your pet policy in the ad along with the amount of rent and the security deposit.
Take Section 8
Although it may seem like a risk, participating in the section 8 program can actually be beneficial to a landlord. In the Section 8 program, the government pays the majority of a tenant’s rent and they pay a portion of their monthly income for their share of the rent.
The prospective tenant will be issued a voucher and they will search for an apartment that will take that voucher.
You will still have them fill out an application and you can still require them to meet certain criteria for approval, so long as that criteria is legal and does not violate the Fair Housing Act.
You can advertise on socialserve.com, and you can find tenants by connecting with local homeless shelters and organizations that help disadvantaged families. There is not that much Section 8 housing out there, so you are sure to be able to keep your place full.
Make Sure Your Lease is Air-Tight
You and any prospective tenants might have a better relationship if the language in your lease and application is clear, specific, and legal.
You should have a lawyer draw up these documents or you should get them from a reputable website that sells these rental documents. It is never a good idea to write a lease yourself.
There are certain problems that can arise that you may not consider when you first start renting out your apartment.
Attorneys who are well versed in landlord-tenant law will be familiar with all of the problems that may occur between a renter and property owner.
When you learn more about rental applications, you will see that a standardized lease created by a lawyer will help you to avoid potential pitfalls and find you the tenant of your dreams.