Are you thinking of renting out your home in St Augustine? The additional income can be a great way to increase your savings or pay off debt, especially during slow market periods when its difficult to sell.
While there are many other reasons to rent out your home, it can be tricky to navigate the best way to go about it. This article will outline some steps that can help you move in the right direction.
If your St. Augustine rental home is located near top attractions then you will want to consider renting to short-term tenants or transforming it into a vacation rental. Before signing up with Airbnb, read through their rules and regulations and how they apply in St. Augustine.
The first step to renting out your home is deciding if being a landlord is a good fit for you. There are various responsibilities that a landlord must oversee, such as repairs and maintenance, security deposits, tenant screening and more.
In Florida, landlords are in charge of providing water, functional electrical outlets, wiring and heating. If you own a multi-family unit, you’re also responsible for trash removal and pest control. Dealing with mold and bed bugs may be a task as well, depending on the lease agreement.
Despite these duties, renting has many upsides. It prevents vandalism and intruders, which often happen in empty homes. You also get to enjoy tax breaks and can generate extra money to pay off your bills, earning a profit while doing so.
The advantages are certainly welcome, but you also need to have the time, knowledge and expertise necessary for the job. You’ll be required to handle property emergencies and deal with damages - and the legal obligations that come with them.
For example, in Florida, landlords are expected to make the necessary renovations and reapirs within seven days of written notice from the tenant. If these repairs aren’t done on time, tenants are provided with options to withhold the rent payment or deduct the cost from the next month’s rent.
In an economic downturn, you’ll need to make updates to your home in order to keep up with market demand. Due to the increase in available rental properties, tenants are more selective.
Start by making sure that the rental unit is thoroughly cleaned and all appliances are in good working condition. If only part of your home is being rented out, ensure that you can secure the area away from the other parts of your dwelling.
Once you have properly prepared your home, create a list that details the desirable features of your unit. Mention if you have a washer and dryer, air conditioning, or a parking garage. Tenants specifically search for homes with these amenities.
Then, craft a listing by writing detailed and engaging descriptions. Use high-definition photos that capture the unit in its best lighting or even make a video walk-through tour. Make sure to choose popular listing sites to increase your property’s exposure such as Zillow and Trulia. You can also distribute ads on social media platforms or in local newspapers.
Another effective alternative is to hire reputable property managers. Property managers know the right features to highlight that resonate with renters the most. Some amenities are highly sought after such as outdoor areas, storage spaces and quality flooring. Property management firms can plan a strategic marketing campaign to increase interest in your property.
On paper, it may sound simple and straightforward to open up your St. Augustine property and welcome renters. However, there are local and state laws a landlord has to adhere to, such as Fair Housing laws. Property management firms can help you navigate this area.
They will help you set an accurate rental price that takes several factors into account such as industry trends, neighborhood property values and location. On your own, you might find it hard to figure out the right price to rent your property, which may result in losing out on potential profit or having trouble attracting renters.
Once you’re prepared for property showings, it’s time to interview tenant prospects. This must be done carefully since a successful rental depends on renters that pay on time and take good care of your property.
It’s important to ask for references and check their rental and credit history before deciding to welcome a tenant into your home. A thorough tenant screening can help prevent any future issues.
If an applicant passes the tenant screening, you can then ask for a security deposit. In Florida, there is no set amount. When the lease agreement ends, landlords must return the security deposit to the tenant within 15 days. Otherwise, you forfeit any right to the security deposit.
As a landlord in St. Augustine, its crucial that you know the landlord-tenant laws in Florida. This is much easier if you hire a property company that is well-versed in property laws and can provide excellent property management services.
If you looking for a trusted property manager for your St. Augustine rental home, get in touch with Suncastle Property Management today!