Renting Out Your Home in Jacksonville: Everything You Should Consider

Are you mulling over the idea of renting out your Jacksonville rental property? If you are, then there are a couple of vital things you must first understand.

Owning a rental property can be lucrative. You may be able to earn extra income, diversify your investment portfolio, and build wealth through increased property value. That being said, working as a landlord isn’t easy. You have to put in a lot of time and energy to ensure that your investment succeeds.

Below, we’ll share with you everything you need to know about renting out your house in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

Understand Your Obligations as a Landlord

Being a landlord comes with a ton of responsibilities, from maintaining a habitable unit to managing tenant requests and everything in between. If you have no prior experience being a landlord, these responsibilities can prove daunting.

So, before diving in, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Will I have sufficient time to tend to my tenants’ needs?
  • Who will handle the needed or requested maintenance tasks?
  • How much rent will I charge tenants?
  • Do I understand the North Carolina rental and landlord-tenant laws?
  • Do I know how to market a vacant rental property?
  • How will I screen prospective tenants?
  • If you can answer most of these questions, then you’re well on your way. But if you can’t, then hiring a professional property manager can be the best option for you.

landlord duties in a rental property

Draft a Solid Lease Agreement

A solid lease agreement protects you and your Jacksonville investment property, and your tenants.

For starters, a lease is a legally binding document between a landlord and a tenant. It details both party’s rights and responsibilities. What’s more, there can be consequences if one party breaks the agreement before it expires.

When drafting the lease agreement, you should make it as ironclad as possible. You’ll want to include all the nitty-gritty details to avoid any confusion or disagreements later on.

A good lease agreement includes details such as:

  • The amount of rent that is due each month. You’ll also want to include other details such as the grace period and late fees if any.
  • The security deposit amount before move in.
  • The breakdown of responsibility in regards to utilities.
  • Important policies and rules on things like pets, smoking and subleasing.
  • The occupancy limits.

Prepare the Home for Renters

When it comes to choosing a home to rent, tenants can be picky. This is especially true in a down market. The increased availability at such a time means that tenants have more options to consider. As such, they will usually have higher expectations.

There are no set standards that dictate if a home is rent-ready or not. Different homes will have different needs. But generally speaking, must ensure the space is clean, habitable and that all appliances are functional.

preparing homes for rent

Understand North Carolina’s Tenancy Laws

Once you make that big leap of being a landlord, there are certain laws that you’ll need to familiarize yourself with. One such law is the Warranty of Habitability.

Per North Carolina statutes, landlords have a responsibility of providing their tenants with a home that abides by the state’s health, safety, and building codes.

Another law is the Fair Housing Act. It stipulates that landlords must treat their tenants with respect, equality, and fairness regardless of their race, color, sex, national origin, familial status, or disability.

Insure Your Home Against Potential Risks

A primary residence and a rental property carry varying sets of risks. For a primary residence, a homeowner’s insurance coverage will suffice. However, when it comes to a rental property, more substantial protections will be required.

A landlord’s insurance policy is specially designed to cover your investment, as well as your rental income. It also protects against certain liabilities.

Require Your Tenants to Have Renter’s Insurance

Many tenants mistakenly think that a landlord’s insurance cover’s them, as well. That couldn’t be further from the truth!

Have a clause in your lease agreement that requires all tenants to have renter’s insurance. As aforementioned, a landlord’s insurance coverage only offers protection to the investment property and the rental income.

A renter’s insurance can help cover a tenant’s possessions if they are stolen, damaged, or destroyed.

calculating proper rent prices

Price Your Jacksonville Rental Property Correctly

You must not undercharge or overcharge your tenants. Undercharging your tenants will mean not being able to maximize your income, whereas overcharging may mean prolonged vacancies.

So, how exactly do you ensure you charge the correct amount? Well, the rent amount should be a percentage of the market value of your home. It should fall between 0.8 percent and 1.1 percent of the value of your home.

Start Marketing Your Home

Once you have straightened out your North Carolina home, begin the marketing process. Start by developing a list of features that make the home stand out. For instance, a garage, air conditioning, or an in-unit washer and a dryer.

You’ll also want to use a catchy headline to increase the click-through rates. Be sure to include keywords that highlight some of the best features and amenities linked to your rental.

Once your rental ad is ready, begin posting it on reputable websites such as Rent.com, Craigslist, and Zillow.

Hire a Property Management Company

If you don’t have the requisite skills or time needed to manage a property, hiring an experienced manager can be the best alternative for you.

A good property management company will help you oversee daily operations, collect rent, fill vacancies, maintain the unit, and even conduct the legal eviction process on your behalf.

Summary

With this guide, you’re well on your way to renting out a home in Jacksonville, NC.

If you are just starting out, consider hiring the professionals at Anchor Real Estate. Their team of property managers can help you minimize stress and maximize your rental income!

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