Are you thinking of renting out your Spokane rental property? If so, it can be a very lucrative decision!
Just last year, WalletHub ranked Spokane #8 out of 300 cities nationwide for the best real estate market of 2020. That's why renting out your Spokane property can help create wealth and build a passive stream of income for you.
That said, for it to be worthwhile, you have to do it right. Landlording isn't just about collecting rent at the end of every month. There is plenty of work involved.
In today's article, we're outlining 6 tips that will help you rent out your Spokane property.
1. Understand your landlord responsibilities.
As already mentioned, landlording involves a lot of work that requires certain skills, knowledge and experience.
Before taking the plunge, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I know how much rent to charge?
- What rate of return can I realistically expect from my rental investment?
- How will I be taking care of repairs?
- Do I have sufficient time to handle all my landlording responsibilities?
- Do I know what it takes to find a reliable and respectful tenant?
- Do I understand the various Washington landlord-tenant laws?
Answering these questions can help you gauge whether or not you can manage your Spokane rental by yourself. Of course, if you have no prior experience, hiring an experienced management company may be the best option.
2. Know the federal, state and local landlord-tenant laws.
Landlord-tenant laws help protect both parties. As a landlord, it's essential for you to understand them if you want to run a safe and profitable business with minimized risks. Ignoring the provisions of the law can get you sued for disobedience.
The following are some of the laws you must understand before renting out your Spokane rental unit.
- Eviction Laws. Washington State has a detailed step-by-step eviction process that landlords must follow when evicting tenants. Regardless of the violation a tenant commits, you cannot use "self-help" eviction methods, such as changing locks, shutting down utilities, or removing tenant belongings.
- Required Disclosures. According to the statewide WA landlord-tenant act, you must make certain information known to tenants prior to lease signing. For instance, you must let your Washington tenant know about nonrefundable fees, fire safety, and mold presence.
- Security Deposit Rules. These laws are also contained in the statewide landlord-tenant law. In Washington, you must, for instance, provide your tenant with a written receipt after receiving their security deposit, and return the deposit (or whatever is left of it) within 14 days after your tenant moves out.
- Privacy Laws. You cannot enter your tenant's rented unit without consent. You must provide them at least 48 hours' written notice prior to entering their units.
- Warranty of Habitability. As a landlord, you must provide your tenants with a healthy and safe rental premises. The living spaces must have heat when cold, running water, functioning plumbing and electrical systems, and so on.
- Fair Housing Act. As a landlord, you cannot discriminate against a tenant based on their protected characteristics. Such characteristics include race, color, sex, disability, national origin, and familial status.
It is crucial that you are aware of these laws and stay updated with them as they change.
3. Make your home rent-ready.
In order to stand out from competition in your neighborhood, consider offering a rent-ready rental.
Some of the things you may do include:
- Freshen it up. This can include repainting walls, replacing a worn-out carpet, and refreshing the landscape.
- Clean it thoroughly. Have the home thoroughly cleaned. You can even hire a professional cleaner to do it for you.
- Ensure everything works well. Test appliances and systems to ensure they are working as they should. Check the lights, electrical outlets, and water faucets.
- Make important replacements. This may include replacing dead batteries, air filters, and locks.
4. Start the marketing process immediately.
Once you have made your rental unit rent-ready, the next step is to start marketing it. To market, begin by creating an eye-catchy ad.
When searching for their next rental, tenants are usually bombarded with hundreds of listings. So, you'll need your rental ad to stand out from the rest. To do so, include an eye-catchy headline, be as descriptive as possible without being too wordy, and include high-quality pictures.
Next, begin the syndication process. For best results, market your property using both traditional and online methods.
5. Screen prospective tenants thoroughly.
Normally, you'll begin getting inquiries from prospective tenants the moment your rental ads are up. To maximize your income, you'll need to rent to high-quality tenants. High-quality tenants will typically rent long-term, pay rent on time, and care for your property.
A good screening process is one that examines a tenant's credit score, income level, as well as rental, criminal and employment backgrounds.
6. Hire a professional property management company.
A property management company can be a good investment for your Spokane property. The right company will help take care of all the aforementioned responsibilities for you.
They can help:
- Fill your vacancies fast.
- Rent to high-quality tenants.
- Care for your Spokane property.
- Collect rent on your behalf.
- Provide you regular financial updates.
Just make sure to hire an experienced company that has your best interests at heart.
Renting out your Spokane house can be a great financial move if you do it right. If you are just getting started or are simply looking to maximize your rental income, hiring an experienced property management company is highly recommended.
At Windermere Property Management, we'll be happy to help. Contact us today for more information.