Renting out an Austin property is a good idea. Whether you’re leasing the home you once lived in yourself or you’re having trouble selling in the current market, renting out that property can provide you with consistent rental income and long-term returns. In the Austin rental market, you’ll find plenty of highly qualified residents who are looking for well-maintained homes.
If you’re wondering where to start and what to do first, we have some important things for you to consider.
List Your Austin Rental Property
Before you can find that perfect tenant and start collecting rent, you’ll need to prepare your property for the market. First impressions count with potential renters, so be thorough and detail-oriented. Remove all of your own personal property from the home. Take care of any minor and major repairs. Then, have it professionally cleaned.
You’ll need to settle on a competitive and accurate rental value. It’s easy to make a mistake when pricing your home, so make sure you take a look at what comparable properties are renting for. Falling below that average will cost you money. Pricing your home too high will lead to a longer vacancy period, and that can be costly too.
Final steps in preparing the home for the market include sprucing up the curb appeal and taking some marketing photos that are clear, high quality, and likely to get the attention of good tenants. Keep in mind that the Texas Property Code also has specific requirements for things like peepholes, bolts, and smoke detectors.
Choosing Austin Residents for your Property
Your rental property listing should go online so you can attract as many potential tenants as possible. Use all the popular rental sites, including Zillow, Trulia, HotPads, Rentals.com, and Zumper, among others.
When tenants begin to call and text, it’s important to be responsive and schedule showings. Walk your prospective tenants through the property and answer their questions, or provide a way for them to go inside the home on their own time and take a self-guided tour. Offer them a chance to apply for the home, and then make sure you know how to screen those applications.
Screening requires that you check credit, eviction history, and criminal backgrounds. You’ll also need to verify income and employment, and we recommend you talk to current and former landlords. Make sure you are following all fair housing laws and documenting your process.
Prepare for Ongoing Management and Maintenance
If you’ve found a tenant who meets your rental criteria, you’ll need to get a lease agreement in place. Collect the security deposit and the first month’s rent, and talk about specific policies like rent collection, pet policies, and how the tenants should report maintenance issues to you.
Prepare to respond to both routine maintenance and emergencies at your property. Make sure your tenants know how to reach you at all times, and start developing relationships with local vendors so you’ll have a team of plumbers, electricians, HVAC technicians, and other repair people available to help and familiar with your property.
Working with a Professional Austin Property Management Company
If you don’t have the time and the expertise to manage your own property, we recommend you hire a professional Austin property management company. New landlords can benefit from the experience and resources of a management company. You’ll have an easier time with maintenance, tenant screening, and staying within compliance of the law.
It’s easy to make a mistake as a new landlord, and those mistakes are usually expensive. Protect your time and your property by contacting us at AustinVestors.