The Pros and Cons of Renting Out Your Home While You’re Away

The Pros and Cons of Renting Out Your Home While You’re Away

There can be a real feeling of achievement when you buy a house or an apartment. You’ve made the decision about the place you’ll call home for the foreseeable future, and perhaps even permanently, and you can certainly feel a sense of occasion when you sign the mortgage papers, making a solemn vow to make the mortgage payments on time and in full, or else your lovely home will become the banks property. Having said that, there’s also a sense of achievement when you get approved for a rental contract. While you might not own the property, the estate agent and/or the property owner have basically said, “Yes- we trust you.”

There are some limitations, such as not being able to get that puppy you’ve always wanted or maybe not even being able to smoke inside, but in the competitive rental market, being approved for a house or apartment is no small thing. It can be difficult to be in the position of the property owner, wondering whether to trust a potential renter to pay the rent on time and take care of the property, and this is a situation that a number of people find themselves in when they travel or their work circumstances change, and they need to actually rent out their home.

Even those who rent might find themselves needing to sublet their home if they’re going to be away, and they also need to find someone who will ensure that the property is looked after. So what is the best way to rent out your home if you’re not going to be around?

For Property Owners Looking to Rent their Home

If you own your property, you really need to be mindful about who you select to look after your home. It can feel like a bad tenant can really do more damage if the property in question is yours; something that you’ve worked really hard for, and damage to the property can feel just that little more personal. It’s best to follow a clearly defined procedure and do what estate agents and other property owners do, and carefully screen potential tenants.

Check for proof of employment, as well as the details of any previous rental contracts- and if you’re being extra careful, you can contact the rental authority in your local area and they can put you in touch with a company that will perform a background check on your potential tenant. There’s a fee involved with this check, so you should probably just take that step when you’re down to the last one or two potential clients.

It’s probably easier to allow for online rent applications earlier in the process, whether by email or an online form, since it’s an easy way of weeding out the undesirables early. Remember that you need to obtain permission from the potential tenant before performing any such background check.

For Renters Looking to Sublet their Home

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If you’re renting your property and you’ll be away for some time, you probably can’t afford to leave your home empty for an extended period of time, since you’ll still need to pay rent whether you’re there or not. Depending on the length and nature of your absence, you might want to consider ending your rental contract early, although this isn’t always so easy, and generally requires a new suitable tenant to be sourced, which is also what you’ll need to do if you sublet.

If you’re thinking about subletting your property for just a short period, then you need to be cautious- your landlord might not actually allow this, and so if you decide to attempt a discreet sublease, you might be in violation of your contract.

You can try to source a short term tenant through friends and family- someone you know might need a room for a shorter period, and this can be more favourable to you from a contractual point of view- you’re not subletting, you’re simply allowing a friend to stay- whether or not you collect rent from them is strictly a private arrangement. Just make sure that they don’t own a puppy and that they’re not a slave to nicotine…

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