Renting out your Knoxville home could be challenging. There is a lot to know when becoming a landlord for the first time. If you set yourself up for success, renting your Knoxville home could be a rewarding experience, but it could be a nightmare if you don’t.
Here are a few tips we’ve learned over the years that could save you time, money, and legal fees!
Tenant screening is an absolute must when renting out your Knoxville home. We recommend being as picky as you can be in your tenant screening process. There are many online resources you can use to screen tenants. Generally, they offer monthly subscription rates or single-use rates.
To make tenant screening easier, you can use apps like RentSpree, My Rental, or SmartMove by TransUnion. Checking references is ok, but running credit and background checks are where the rubber meets the proverbial road. You also want to make sure prospective tenants have a stable income and no eviction on their reports.
Setting clear expectations is essential to ensuring you have a mutual understanding with your tenants. If these conditions are not in your standard rental or lease agreement, the best way to do this is to create addenda that address your specific policies. Explaining these policies and house rules then having the tenant sign that they understand them helps set clear expectations in advance of their occupancy. Have copies of these rules, and everything they sign, for the tenants records.
In addition, your lease should be crystal clear. If, after signing off on the rental/lease agreement, your policies and house rules addenda, your tenant breaks these rules, having the signed documents will help you if you need to evict your tenant.
Do you know what notice you need to give the tenant before entering the unit during their occupancy? What about emergency access? How about the required notice to give your tenant when you need them to move?
There are laws in the state of Tennessee that you’ll need to comply with as a landlord. Click here for a link to the Uniform Residential Landlord Act for that information.
While Tennessee is considered a landlord-friendly state, you want to make sure you’re aware of applicable state and local laws.
It’s important not to be caught by surprise when an unexpected expense or repair arises. In that vein, having a home warranty on your rental is excellent advice and could save you a lot of money in repair costs on some components of the home. Also, you may be able to write it off as an expense. Check with your accountant on that.
Be aware that home warranties don’t cover everything. They cover most of the home systems, but you’ve got to cover a deductible or the entire cost of what they don’t cover. Having a budget for repairs is smart.
Being a landlord can quickly become overwhelming, especially if you’re trying to manage family, work, and your residence simultaneously.
Utilizing apps for rent collection or outsourcing your accounting are just a couple of ways to lighten your load. If you’ve got multiple properties to manage, hiring a professional property manager is going to be a lifesaver.
If this all sounds like too much to deal with, and believe me, it can be, you may want to consider selling your home. The market in Knoxville is crazy good for sellers right now, but with interest rates climbing up, who knows how long it will be that way.
If you need help, please click here for our contact page, and we’ll reach out to you personally and promptly.
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