5 Important Things to Know When Renting Your Home in California

In today’s residential real estate market, many homeowners consider turning their homes into rentals.  There are numerous reasons for this decision. Many homeowners are upside down on their mortgage so it makes more sense to hold and lease. Others see the return on investment due to the current increasing rental market rates and low home values. Yet some are being relocated for military reasons. The following is a list of the top 5 tips to consider when renting out your home. These tips will guide you in the right direction to properly prepare your home for lease. 1. Determine the Rental Value of Your Home. There are numerous websites that can help you perform a comparative market analysis. Websites including Zillow.com, Trulia.com and Redfin.com are all good resources to find comparable rental properties.  Prior to visiting the website, collect some basic information about your home. This includes the amount of square feet, lot size, and year built. Next you will need to find three comparative properties in your neighborhood called comps. When looking for comps, take note of factors such as school district, amenities, location, and upgrades that influence desirability and price.  When you have found good comps and have analyzed all of the variables, determine a price range that is competitive in your neighborhood. 2. Home Inspection. A home inspection will help avoid any major maintenance issues before and after tenant occupancy. It’s a great precautionary step necessary to eliminate multiple phone calls from tenants as well as legal issues. Having the proper documentation of the inspection is important to know if you are deciding whether or not a tenant is responsible for a repair. 3. Leasing Process.  You must have all of the proper forms ready before searching for tenants. These include the lease agreement, move-in/move-out inspection forms, and the lease application. Also, you will need to screen the tenants to find out if they are a good fit for your home. Income, credit and background check are vital components of the screening. 4. Landlord and Tenant Laws.  The two major resources for landlord and tenant laws are www.dre.ca.gov and www.dca.ca.gov.  Educate yourself on the eviction process, lease agreement, security deposit, repair procedures, and any other pertinent information. Most importantly DOCUMENT EVERTHING. The Mike Chiesl Group has an outstanding property management division that takes all of the guesswork out of renting your home.   5. Consider a Property Management Company. Managing your home is very time consuming and there are many other vital things to know aside from the items listed above.  Consider hiring a property management company if you do not have the time to dedicate to the leasing process, accounting, maintenance, and research. Feel free to contact The Mike Chiesl Group’s property management division if you need advice or would like to inquire about our services in San Diego.