Rental agreement document with keys and pencil

Tips for Using Your Rental Property as Extra Income

If you’re like most people, you are looking for ways to earn extra income and add to your retirement fund. Real estate can be a great vehicle to have steady cash flow, an investment that appreciates in value over the long term, and can give you peace of mind knowing you have a retirement plan. Here are some tips on using your rental property as extra income:

  • Set the right rental rate: You don’t want to set your rent so high that people aren’t interested; nor do you want to set it so low that you aren’t making the monthly cash flow you need. Setting the right rate can take some research and planning. Ask others in the community about what they think a fair price is (real estate agents, lenders, other landlords).
  • Fix what needs fixing: Does the plumbing need some work? Is the back deck starting to rot? Are the windows in need of replacing? What condition is the roof in? How about the furnace? You’ll need to make sure that all major elements of your property are in good working order before you have tenants move in. The more updated your rental, the less likely you’ll be called at 2 in the morning when the furnace stops working.
  • Make it visually appealing: A coat of paint and some landscaping can go a long way to giving your property curb appeal. Plant some flowers, mow the lawn, and make sure the house doesn’t have paint chipping off of the sides. Make is as nice as possible, so people can visualize living there and be proud of their accommodations.
  • Understand the responsibilities: Being a landlord comes with many responsibilities. You will need to spend the time and money required to fix things around the property, deal with tenants, collect rent, etc. It’s safe to assume that things will not always run smoothly. Are you prepared to deal with things that may go wrong, like bad tenants, or insurance companies who don’t want to pay for legitimate claims?
  • Have at least three month’s rent at any one time: As a landlord, you will be responsible for replacing or repairing items in the house. This includes plumbing, furnace, roof, windows, etc. It’s a good idea to have at three months of rent built up so you can pay for these things quickly, which keeps you in your tenants’ good books.
  • Screen tenants carefully: Everyone has heard horror stories of bad tenants who don’t pay, or move out suddenly without paying rent. You can avoid all of this by screening your tenants carefully. Check references and credit scores before approving them as a tenant.
  • Hire professionals: If you want to save time and not get called at 2 in the morning, consider hiring a professional to take care of your property for you. A company representative will collect the rent, deal with issues with the property and interact with your renters. You can manage your property from a distance, without losing control over how you run your property.

Benefit National can take care of all of your property management needs. Visit the website today for more information about our range of services.