Rental prices have been increasing just as home values have increased. It is predicted that the real estate market is going to start balancing or correcting. In fact, in some markets it is already taking place. This will, most likely, affect rental prices as well. It is important to know how to maximize the rent for your rental property in order to receive the most return on your investment.
The Right Time of Year to Rent
The spring and summer months are the best time to place your investment property up for rent if you are looking for a year-long lease. This is especially true if your property is in an area where the winter months are cold. You'll receive the most money during these months as tenants prefer moving in the spring, summer or fall months versus the cold, winter months. In warmer climates, investment properties rent well in the winter months for short-term leases. Many northerners like to head south for the winter months. Discuss your rental strategy with your local, experienced real estate professional who can give you the best advice.
Keep Up with the Routine Maintenance on Your Rental Property
It is important to keep up with the routine maintenance on your rental property. This will also help you keep your home value on par. Small, inexpensive maintenance costs or small problems can turn into larger, expensive problems if left unattended. It is important to have your heating, air conditioning and ventilation (HVAC) system cleaned and check annually. Be sure you or your tenants are changing the furnace filter monthly or every few months at the minimum. Be sure that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have working batteries at all times. If you have an asphalt driveway, get it seal coated each year to extend its life.
Do a walk-through of your property at least once a year to be sure your tenants aren't missing any under-cabinet leaks, hot water heater leaks, electrical problems and the like. Your eyes are much better than your tenants' eyes. Sometimes tenants hesitate to report small problems. Small problems are almost always less expensive to repair than big problems. Also, be sure your roof and windows are not leaking. Do not forget about the exterior of your property. For example, keep bushes and trees trimmed so they don't do any damage to your siding or roof. 10 Rental Repair and Maintenance Responsibilities for Landlords is a great article to review. If you are handy, you may want to try your hand at doing some of the routine maintenance yourself. This will also help maximize your rent. All in all, a rental property that is maintained will definitely maximize your rent.
Update Your Rental Property
Another way to maximize your rent is to keep your rental property updated. Do not invest too much money on upgrades, however. Keep the paint and flooring in decent condition. Use trending colors as well. Updated kitchen and bathroom counters and cabinets will also draw more tenants to your property. Keeping updated appliances in your unit will as well. Renters will pay more for monthly rent for properties that are updated.
Add Extra Fees
Another way to maximize your rent is to add extra fees for pets if you allow them. You can also add extra fees for tenants who pay the rent late. If you have a property that needs the lawn mowed and the snow shoveled, charge your tenants more than it costs you to have it done. These are just a few examples.
Instituting a few strategies to maximize the rent in your rental properties will make you happier every time your tenant pays rent. Move of the above strategies are fairly easy to set in motion.