Things to Do Before Renting Out Your House

Before renting out your house, make sure to do inspections, repairs, and find the right tenants. Learn how to be a successful landlord.

Before renting out your house, clean and repair the property, determine a competitive rent price, and understand local rental laws. Create a detailed lease agreement, establish a tenant screening process, and ensure proper insurance coverage. Decide whether to manage the property yourself or hire a property manager. Finally, market the property effectively to attract reliable tenants.

Here is a detailed guide on the best practices and questions from our property management clients:

How to Rent Out a House for the First Time

Renting out a house for the first time can be a rewarding endeavor if approached with diligence and a clear strategy. To ensure success, treat the process as a business, find reliable tenants, manage the property effectively, and maintain good tenant relationships.

This guide will cover each step in detail to help you navigate the rental process confidently.

Treat Your Rental Property Like a Business

Approach your rental property with a business mindset. This means being professional in all interactions, maintaining organized records, and making decisions that benefit the property’s long-term profitability. Understand local laws and regulations to ensure compliance and protect your investment.

Find Tenants Online

Leverage online platforms to reach potential tenants. Websites like Zillow, Trulia, Craigslist, and Facebook allow you to post listings that can attract a wide audience, but becareful that scammers don’t copy your listing . High-quality photos and detailed descriptions will help your property stand out.

Consider Hiring a Property Manager

Managing a rental property can be time-consuming. A property manager can handle tenant inquiries, maintenance requests, and rent collection. This service can be particularly beneficial if you have multiple properties or limited time.

Read more: What to Expect from a Property Management Company in Kissimmee, Florida?

Set the Right Rent Price

Determine the appropriate rent by researching similar properties in your area. Setting the right price can attract tenants quickly and reduce vacancy periods. Consider factors like location, amenities, and property condition when pricing your rental.

Create and Follow a Tenant Screening Process

A thorough tenant screening process is essential to find reliable tenants. Establish criteria for income, employment history, rental history, and references. Consistency in screening helps ensure fair treatment of all applicants.

Require a Rental Application

A detailed rental application collects important information from potential tenants. It should include sections for personal details, employment history, and references. This information helps in assessing the suitability of applicants.

Require Renters Insurance

Mandating renters insurance protects both you and your tenants. It covers tenant belongings and provides liability coverage in case of accidents. This requirement can reduce disputes and potential out-of-pocket expenses for damages.

Require a Credit and Background Check

Credit and background checks reveal financial responsibility and any past legal issues. These checks provide insight into the tenant’s ability to pay rent on time and maintain a peaceful living environment. Ensure all checks comply with local and federal regulations.

Working with a property manager can make a huge difference, as this is a standard service you will receive. Find out more: How to Find a Good Property Manager for Your Rental Property

Have a Written Rental Agreement

A written rental agreement clearly outlines the terms of the tenancy. It should cover rent amount, payment due dates, maintenance responsibilities, and rules for the property. Both parties should sign and retain a copy of this agreement.

Enforce and Follow the Rules

Consistency in enforcing rules maintains order and fairness. Address violations promptly and document all communications. Clear rules and consistent enforcement help prevent misunderstandings and disputes.

Collect Rent Payments Online

Online rent collection simplifies the payment process for both landlords and tenants. Platforms like PayPal, Venmo, and specialized property management software offer secure and convenient options. Online payments reduce the risk of lost or late payments.

Keep Digital Records of Everything

Maintain digital records of all transactions, communications, and documents. This includes rent payments, maintenance requests, lease agreements, and correspondence with tenants. Digital records are easier to organize, access, and back up.

Keep Good Tenants

Retaining good tenants reduces turnover costs and vacancy periods. Foster positive relationships by being responsive to maintenance requests and respectful in communications. Offering lease renewals and small incentives can also encourage tenants to stay long-term.

By treating your rental property like a business, finding tenants online, considering a property manager, setting the right rent, and following these guidelines, you can successfully rent out a house for the first time.


Should I Run a Credit Check on a Tenant?

Running a credit check on a tenant provides insights into their financial responsibility and ability to pay rent on time. It reveals their credit score, debt levels, and payment history. This helps you make an informed decision, reducing the risk of late payments or potential evictions. Always obtain the tenant’s consent and ensure the process complies with local regulations.

What’s a Common Mistake Landords Make?

A common mistake landlords make is not conducting thorough tenant screening. Skipping background, credit checks, or reference verification can lead to unreliable tenants who may cause property damage or miss rent payments.

Proper screening ensures you select responsible tenants, protecting your investment and maintaining a stable rental income.

How can I make my rental stand out?

To make your rental stand out, make sure it is clean, well-maintained, and features quality photos in listings. Highlight unique amenities, modern appliances, and attractive features. Consider virtual tours to offer a comprehensive view. Competitive pricing and prompt responses to inquiries also attract more potential tenants.

How can I make my rental property more profitable?

To make your rental property more profitable, set competitive rent based on market research, reduce vacancies by retaining good tenants, and minimize maintenance costs through regular upkeep. Consider offering premium features like upgraded appliances or in-unit laundry. Efficiently manage expenses and explore tax deductions to maximize your return.

Anne-Marie McCormack
Anne-Marie McCormack

Anne-Marie McCormack has been a Florida licensed Real Estate Broker since 1996. She has worked as a realtor in property management, rentals and sales in Kissimmee, Davenport, and Orlando, Florida since 1991.

She heads the team at McCormack Realty & Renters Choice Homes and has lots of experience with long-term and short-term rentals and sales. . Anne-Marie owned and operated a short-term-rental, property management company from 1994-2004. Since then McCormack Realty & Renters Choice Homes has focused on long-term rentals and sales of residential, investment homes and vacation homes also known as holiday lets.

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