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Rental place: How to rent with profit and practicality in mind

Getting into the rental property business is equal parts frightening and lucrative, at least it can be if you manage accordingly but most importantly get out of the gate the right way with as much information and guidance as possible.
Let's say you've moved in with your signifiant other, but you already own a home and want to turn it into a rental properly so that you're not paying for something you're not using. Seems fairly practical, right?
Well before you open up your door to a tenant, who most likely is going to be a total stranger, you need to think a few things through beforehand.
For instance, you want to make sure the house is in the kind of shape where you can get the most bang for that rental buck. More specifically, you want to get the highest rent amount possible for your new endeavor.
Now before you start putting in a new roof and rebuilding your kitchen and every bathroom in the house, ask yourself if what you have now is suitable. You don't have to make everything perfect necessarily but if there are glaring issues, fix them. If you need a new french drain, dig it out. If your basement gets water, make the water disappear.

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If the front of your house looks like the surface of the moon, call a landscaper.
You get the point, right?
And as far as those tenants go, how do you know which one is best for business? Well, for the most part, you can't just go by how you feel about that at first glance. There are several web sites that do background checks for free and for a small fee, you can run a credit report and have them fill out a subsequent application.
You'd also be wise to request two weeks worth of pay checks to make sure the rent number isn't way out of their price range.
The rental agreement also is key as several noteworthy add ons are necessary: no pets, no smoking and make sure if you're providing appliances, that replacing them falls on the tenants. The same goes for all utilities (typically) as well as snow removal for those hard to reach winter months along with grass upkeep being the responsibility of the person now living in your home.
Renting means monthly checks in your pocket but that shouldn't be at the expense of destroying your home or getting into business with someone who you know nothing about, can't trust and have to wonder if you'll actually be getting those cashed checks consistently.

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