How to Rent Out Your House: Preparing Your Home for Rental

How to Rent Out Your House: Preparing Your Home for Rental

Owning income property can have major benefits, but you need to know what you’re doing for it to pay off financially. Preparing your home is essential if you hope to attract reliable tenants and maximize returns. Don’t leave the success of your investment up to chance – get the ins and outs of how to rent a house and how lucrative property management works. 

Keep reading to learn how to determine if a house would be a good investment property, how to find the right tenants, what your rental agreement should entail, and more. Whether you’re renting out a house for the first time, or you’ve been a landlord for years, the tips and tricks here will ensure you rent your house fast and get the most for it. 

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • How to Assess Your House for Renting
  • Legal and Financial Considerations for Renting out Your House
  • Property Preparation for Rental
  • Marketing Your Rental Property
  • Screening Potential Tenants
  • Finalizing the Rental Agreement
  • How to Rent Out Your House FAQs

How to Assess Your House for Renting

Preparing a property before you rent it out is a crucial part of the process. This involves inspecting the house, evaluating market demand, and setting competitive rental rates.

A. Conduct a Thorough Inspection  

Examine the state of your residence, including structural components, like ceilings and walls, and plumbing and electrical systems. Hire professional inspectors to identify any repairs or maintenance tasks that must be addressed before tenants move in.

B. Evaluate Market Demand and Rental Rates

Research local rental market trends and demand to ensure your property stays competitive. Use online resources like Zillow Research Data or consult with real estate professionals who are familiar with your area.

Determine competitive rental rates by researching what comparable properties in your area are renting for. Keep an eye on listings within surrounding neighborhoods and take note of their features, amenities, and pricing.

It might be worth speaking to a real estate pro or one of our rental advisors if you’re wondering how much should I rent my house for – they’ll be able to help you determine what rent to charge based on the current market.

Legal and Financial Considerations for Renting out Your House

Before renting out your house, know the law. Check out landlord-tenant laws in your area to avoid legal trouble.  

A. Understand Local Rental Laws and Regulations

Knowledge is power when you’re learning how to rent your house out. Keep up on the latest rental laws and regulations to ensure your business runs efficiently. Join landlord associations or attend seminars to learn from experienced landlords. 

B. Review Insurance Coverage for Renting out Your House

Don’t get caught without adequate insurance. Your homeowner’s insurance on your physical residents won’t cover most rental activities. Talk to your insurer about necessary coverage changes after becoming a landlord. Consider purchasing landlord insurance to cover property damage, liability costs, and loss of rental income – it’s more expensive than homeowner’s insurance but can be well worth the peace of mind it offers.

C. Set a Realistic Budget for Your Rental

Calculate expenses like maintenance, repairs, property taxes, and mortgage payments. Don’t forget about professional services like cleaning or landscaping.  

Property Preparation for Rental

Before you can start raking in the rental income, you’ll need to make sure your property is ready – that means cleaning, fixing, securing, and staging.

A. Deep Cleaning and Decluttering 

A tidy home is a tempting home. Before taking pictures or showing the home, scrub everything down, from the carpets to the windows to the appliances. And don’t forget, any personal belongings – like pictures, mail, etc. – should be out of sight.

B. Make Necessary Repairs and Improvements of Your Future Rental

Fix anything broken, outdated, or that was identified as problematic during inspections. Now is also the time to consider sprucing up the place with a fresh coat of paint or new landscaping.  

C. Evaluate and Upgrade Security Measures of Your Rental

Ensure the safety of your renters by guaranteeing all entry points are properly locked and guarded. If you don’t already have one, you might want to install a security system.

D. Stage the Property

Show off your property’s best features and create a neutral and inviting atmosphere by arranging furniture and decor. Not your forte? Hire a specialist or look at online resources for help or inspiration when staging your property.  

Marketing Your Rental Property

One of the best tips for trying to rent out your house is: learn to market it effectively. A well-marketed property can reduce vacancy periods and increase rental income.

A. High-Quality Property Rental Photos

First impressions matter. Use high-quality, professional photos to showcase your property’s best features. Hire an experienced real estate photographer or use a high-resolution camera to capture well-lit, properly composed images.

B. Compelling Property Rental Description

A striking description goes hand-in-hand with great photos. Highlight unique selling points like recently renovated kitchens or bathrooms, proximity to local amenities, and any included utilities or appliances. Don’t forget essential details like square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, parking availability, and pet policies.

C. Utilize Online Rental Platforms and Networks

Online platforms are an effective way to reach large audiences quickly. For maximum exposure, list your property on reputable rental platforms like Zillow Rent Manager,, Craigslist, or RentSavvy. You can also share your listing on Facebook groups dedicated to housing rentals in your area.

When you list your property with RentSavvy, your property is syndicated to dozens of major rental platforms and will be liste on all of the major sites. This ensures maximum exposure, and simplifies the process so you can manage your listing and prospect communication in one place. 

Promoting your rental property effectively requires time and effort, but your efforts pay off when vacancies are filled faster with well-qualified tenants who appreciate what your home offers.

Screening Potential Tenants

Bad tenants can ruin the landlord experience. As you navigate the learning curve on knowing how to rent your house out, follow these steps to screen potential renters, just like the most successful real estate investors do.

A. Create a Tenant Application Process

Start by creating a complete application form that gathers personal details, employment history, and references.  

B. Conduct Background and Credit Checks

Verify applicants’ credentials by checking their employment and income levels and running credit and background checks. This will give you insight into how financially responsible they are and if they have a criminal background or evictions you should be aware of.  

C. Contact References and Previous Landlords

Reach out to an applicant’s references and previous landlords to get a clearer picture of what kind of tenant they might be. This gives you firsthand accounts of past behavior as a renter, which could predict future tendencies. Ask specific questions about:

  • Rent payment timeliness
  • How well the property was cared for
  • Any issues they experienced
  • How they left the property

Don’t rush through the tenant screening process. Thorough vetting helps prevent issues such as late payments or property damage. Take time now to save trouble later and ensure a positive experience for both parties.

Finalizing the Rental Agreement

You can complete a rental contract once you’ve screened tenants and found a match. This step is crucial to ensure both parties understand their responsibilities and rights.

A. Draft a Clear and Comprehensive Lease Agreement

Your lease agreement should be crystal clear and comprehensive. Include all necessary details like: 

  • Rental term length
  • Monthly rent amount
  • Security deposit requirements
  • Tenant obligations 
  • What you’ll cover monthly – yard care, any utilities, etc.

Don’t forget to outline specific clauses about late payments and maintenance requests. Here is also where you’ll explain what a termination procedure might look like. 

Need help with your lease agreement? RentSavvy takes the stress out of managing rental property – sign up today to learn more about how we help with every aspect of renting out your house, including writing a lease. 

B. Consult with Legal Professionals

Don’t want to get tangled up in rental laws and regulations? Seeking legal advice before finalizing any documents is always a great idea. A professional can help clarify confusing language or terms that could lead to misunderstandings down the line.  

How to Rent Out Your House FAQs

What do I need to know about renting my first house?

Before you rent out your home, you should know the laws, set a fair price, prep the property, market it well, screen tenants, and have a solid lease agreement.

How much should you have before renting?

Save 3 - 6 months’ worth of mortgage payments for unexpected expenses. Ensure rental income covers mortgage, taxes, insurance, maintenance, and management fees.

Why is renting your first house better than buying?

Renting offers flexibility and lets you save for a down payment while enjoying desirable neighborhoods without hefty mortgages.

What makes a good landlord?

A good landlord respects tenants’ rights, communicates well, addresses maintenance issues promptly, follows fair housing regulations, and treats all tenants fairly.

Preparing your home to be a rental can be daunting, but it can also be rewarding with the right approach, resources, and knowledge. Assess your house, consider legal and financial aspects, prepare the property for rent, market it effectively, and screen tenants thoroughly. Being proactive is critical when managing rental properties, and online platform RentSavvy can help you.

Reach out today to learn more about how RentSavvy advisors can help you successfully learn how to rent out your house.