Renting out your home while you’re on vacation is a smart way to make passive income. It takes minimal effort to embark on this kind of arrangement, and once you find the right short-term tenant(s), the money is made for you. Although making this money becomes easy, finding the right renters is not straightforward. To avoid getting scammed by squatters, here are three tips to renting out your property while you travel.
1. Spread the Word
When you’re ready to start looking for tenants, place ads about your rental on ad placement sites like Craigslist. Although the website has begun charging $5 fees for posting, this helps to weed out spam and ensures that potential renters will see your ad. Many renters looking for a quick process use Craigslist as it allows them to get in contact with property owners faster than going through sites like Zillow or Trulia. You should still consider posting your listing on sites like Zillow and Trivia, as many renters with good credit use these sites to guarantee quality control. You should also consider using Facebook Marketplace and Nextdoor to post your listings as well. You might end up finding people interested in renting your place that are already local to the area. Consider the replies you receive and create a list of potential renters.
2. Narrow Down the List
Once you’ve made a list, be sure to complete checks on each person. You’ll be able to view their credit history, criminal history, and any outstanding debts that belong to them. You can reach out to previous landlords and discuss their experience as well. Talk to potential tenants directly if you’re concerned about red flags on their checks. You might learn that some individuals are in the process of actively repairing their credit but that they have stable jobs that allow them to pay your monthly rent. You might also find out that summer renters are just looking for a staycation and that they have saved up the rent needed in advance. Conducting a credit and background check and following up with renters might feel invasive, but these are the only ways to guarantee that your renters are who they say they are.
3. Consider Your Options and Set Up Terms
While background history is an important part of considering tenants, remember that what’s on paper is not everything. You don’t need the perfect renter profile to rent a home for a few months. Just make sure they have the income to cover the time you’ll be away. Finding the right tenant(s) will help you stay away from distractions and embrace your vacation. You’re bound to run into your own travel stress, so take some of the weight off by taking care of matters at home. After reviewing the profiles for each possible renter:
1). Make your decision on who you want renting your property. If you’re working with an agent, be sure to inform them of your decision.
2). Ask the renter for a deposit, first month’s rent, or a combination, based on what is necessary.
3). Decide on a move-in state and write up a contract spelling out terms.
4). Sign to confirm, and then pass the form along to your tenants and have them sign the contract. Once this is set, you’re ready for your trip!
It is a tedious process finding potential renters, but it’s worth the hassle. Commit to the process and follow these steps so that you can feel good about your decision and enjoy your vacation without worry.