Advertising Rental Property Tips
The elements included when advertising rental property can be the difference between good tenants and destructive ones. Use your advertising wisely to attract prospective tenants that are right for you. Additionally, you want to include accurate information that isn't misleading or deceptive in your rental listing, a problem that gets many landlords in legal trouble. Consider what the most important provisions of your lease agreement are and provide that information in your rental property listing.
The following are great examples of what many savvy landlords include in their rental advertisements.
In your rental ad, be careful and only charge the market rent, or slightly less, for rent payments. This is regardless of what overhead or costs are attached to the property. Prospective renters and quality tenants will be familiar with the market and may not even look into your unit if the price is too high above the market. Most lease agreements include a security deposit, in case of damage beyond normal wear and tear or unpaid rent. Be sure to check your state's laws, because many put a cap on how much of a security deposit landlords can require. Typically, it is twice the monthly rent.
Most landlords just list the square footage. Some even provide a floor plan or virtual tours of the unit, so that potential tenants can see the layout and dimensions. Be sure to be honest and not embellish.
With the technology of GPS, it is usually adequate to put the actual address when advertising real estate for rent. It is also wise to include the cross-streets. Some landlords only include a general area or cross-streets for fear of burglary. Know your area and keep this in mind when listing your advertisement.
Year or Month-to-Month Rental Agreement
In a tough market, the assurance of binding your tenant to a full year is wise. On the contrary, if you want to be able to raise the rent price to a reasonably higher rate within that year, a month-to-month lease might be better (remember that you will have to give reasonable notice--usually 30 days). The other appeal of a month-to-month lease is that if a tenant is problematic, it is easier to get them out, and simply give the notice to end the lease.
Special features, especially upgrades in the kitchens and bathrooms and new appliances, are a great advertising mechanism. Also be sure to list things like patios/decks, furniture, washer/dryer, dishwasher, hardwood floors, new carpet, etc. that might be attractive to potential renters.
Number of Tenants Allowed
Considering the size and number of bedrooms in your unit, decide how many people you will allow to occupy the rental property. A good guideline is to allow two tenants per bedroom. Be sure to check your state's laws and housing codes on this, because some states and ordinances require you to allow more or even disallow too many.
Whether Pets are Allowed
Allowing pets will open your unit up to more potential tenants, especially in a market where not every apartment rental allows pets. Many landlords who allow pets also require an additional security deposit or nonrefundable fee for any pet damage. Of course, you can prohibit pets as long as the pet is not a service animal registered to a disabled person.
The more available you are, the more potential tenants will trust you as a responsible and conscientious landlord. Provide a phone number where you know someone will always be able to answer. If you are away from your phone frequently, see if you can have your calls forwarded so that potential renters can speak to someone live and ask any questions. You may also want to include an email address since so many people prefer to do all of their correspondence via email.
Date and Time of Any Open House
Open houses are a great way to get publicity and to accommodate showing the unit to many people at the same time. Be prepared for your open house, by being early and being ready to answer any potential questions that are thrown at you. Bring business cards and information about how to obtain a rental application. Many landlords have stopped passing out paper applications so freely as to save on paper. However, printing off a few flyers with the rental property information and passing these out at the open house is a great idea.
You may want to try different marketing strategies, such as social media or listing sites like apartments.com, or Zillow. Also, you can also use a property management company to list your rental unit on rental listing sites, and perform tenant screening, background checks, and rent collection. These companies will help you save time. You may also look up your walkscore and provide this information in your property advertising to attract renters who value walkability.
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
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