Convert Your Home into a Rental Property Cory Real Estate Services

A lot of people consider renting their homes to generate passive income. It’s also an option they think about when the economy is in a downturn and it’s a buyer’s market. These are wonderful reasons to convert your Clarksville, TN home into a rental property. But before moving forward, it’s important to ensure that you’re taking the correct path.

Cory Real Estate Services can provide you with advice and property management services if you are considering taking the plunge into being a rental property owner. Below are ideas to weigh before deciding to rent out your Clarksville, TN home:

1.  Managing a rental home requires a lot of responsibility.

While the advantages of having a rental business are plenty, you must also be realistic about the responsibilities involved. Opening your Clarksville, TN home to tenants can let you earn rent income every month, pay off your maintenance expenses and benefit from tax returns. But as a Tennessee landlord, you’ll be required to comply with State laws on providing habitable housing.

Your property should be livable under the “implied warranty of habitability.” You must have proper trash receptacles, fire alarms and prioritize vital home repairs. If a clogged toilet or pest infestation is not resolved, your tenants can exercise their right to withhold rent or “repair and deduct.”

Clarksville rental property

Other things to be aware of as a landlord is to manage your rent collection, pay for insurance, handle security deposits and determine the wear and tear of your unit. You also need to screen potential tenants while adhering to the Fair Housing Act. You can’t reject a prospect under the protective classes which are based on race, sex, familial status, disability, national origin, religion, or color.

2.  Make sure your home is ready and prepared for tenant move-in.

When the market is in an upswing and rental demand is high, little preparation may be needed for your Clarksville, TN home. Given that a lot of people need a place to rent then a few things can be overlooked. However, when the market is in a downturn, the competition can be heavy. If there are lots of available rentals, then prospects can be selective and want the best amenities and features.

Before welcoming a new tenant, deep clean your rental. Check if the appliances are fully functional. Boost your security by using solid locks or installing security systems. Part of your landlord duty is keeping your tenants safe.

3.  Owning a rental means sharpening your marketing skills.

After preparing your Clarksville, TN home for prospective renters, you must prepare a marketing plan of action. Think about the features that make your property attractive. Do you have a parking area, outdoor lot, nice kitchen, or plenty of storage space? Start listing them down to include in your ads and property listings.

Be specific in your advertising and use descriptive words that can catch the attention of prospects. Highlight features such as granite kitchens, wooden floors, or garages. Maximize exposure by using popular platforms and property listing sites. You can also attend community events for effective word-of-mouth advertising on top of the online marketing you’re conducting. Another way is to solicit help from real estate agents and pay a commission when a high-quality renter is found.

Hire a professional property manager

Another very effective marketing solution is to engage the services of a reputable property management company. Given their resources, experience, and local knowledge, they can easily find new tenants for you. Scout around for a property management company with reasonable management fees. The services provided are often worth it rather than self-managing and consuming all your time on rental management.

4.  Perform tenant screening to determine the suitability of prospective renters.

Screening tenants entail familiarizing yourself with the Fair Housing Act. You must have a uniform standard for all applicants applying to rent your Clarksville, TN home. Then you need to verify the prospect’s identity properly. Technically, you’re letting in strangers so it’s best to find out the rental history to gauge the sense of responsibility.

You also want someone who can reliably pay the rent every month. This means that verifying the income capability is essential. Normally, renters must make 3x the amount of the monthly rent. Aside from that, you need someone who can be trusted to maintain a rental reasonably.

5.  Hire a property management company to aid in financial recordkeeping and complex legal matters.

During tax season, it can be confusing to handle your financial documents for your Clarksville, TN rental home. You need to be well-versed in tax laws. Having a property management company working on your side can ensure you have correct entries and remain compliant with the rules.

 A property management company also has an in-house attorney or they’re knowledgeable in landlord-tenant laws. You will have less stress knowing you’re following the right procedure in evicting a tenant. You can also enjoy having a leasing agreement that’s legally approved and reviewed already. Aside from that, the contract will already contain the required disclosures, so you’re protected from legal complications or future lawsuits.

Clarksville property managers

6. Understand the local laws and regulations.

The State of Tennessee has a variety of local landlord and tenant laws that outline the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants. These are things you will need to consider if you plan on converting your home into a rental property.

For example, in Tennessee, there are no limits on the security deposit amount to collect. Depending on your city and County, limits might be imposed. Security deposits also need to be kept in a separate account.

Landlords can’t deduct from the security deposit without notifying the tenant beforehand. For example, the carpet is heavily stained due to the tenant's fault. You can’t have it steam cleaned or replaced using the security deposit for cleaning fees without informing the tenant.

Another thing to observe in Tennessee is charging late fees. Landlords can charge renters for paying late but this must be collected only when the tenant has not paid for 5 days already. If the 5th day falls on Sunday or a legal holiday, then it’s not counted if the renter pays on the following business day.

The tenant is given 14 days for rent payment and 16 days to move out. If neither is followed by the tenant, then eviction procedures may proceed.

Final Thoughts

Managing your Clarksville, TN rental home will present challenges. It’s worthwhile to consider hiring a property management company given the numerous benefits they can provide. Cory Real Estate Services can provide top-tier property management services to help you as you convert your home into a rental property. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you!

Posted by Justin Cory on
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