As a property manager or landlord, your mission is to keep your rental properties filled with well-qualified tenants. But do you really know what tenants are looking for in their next home or are you just hoping a good tenant is just going to fall out of the sky and land on your property? There are several things most potential tenants look for in a new home, items you need to be aware of as you search for your next rental property investment.
- Location– First and foremost, people look for a home is a desired area of town with close access to shopping, schools, banking, numerous other amenities, and close to their place of employment.
- Monthly Rent– The monthly rent plays a huge role in most tenants’ budgets. High rents may not necessarily attract better tenants just because of the cost but pricing your house to meet the local market is sure to go a long way in this direction. An occupied unit with a reasonable rent is far more profitable than an empty unit with a higher rent.
- Number of Rooms – The number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and all rooms in the unit also play a large role in most renters’ final decision and for that matter in their initial search. Be honest in your description, for example; no matter how you look at it, a den is not a “bedroom.” By the same token, a room without a closet is not considered to be a bedroom.
- The Security Deposit – General opinion says that a security deposit that is equivalent to one full month’s rent is reasonable and an excellent way to encourage the tenant to take care of your property. You can add extra amounts to this to cover things like poor credit or pets, but even these should always be reasonable.
In California, laws restrict landlords and property managers from charging more than two times the rent for a security deposit if the home is unfurnished. If you are renting homes that are fully furnished, you are permitted to charge up to three times the monthly rent as a security deposit. The idea behind a security deposit is to cover the cost of minor repairs and cleaning when a tenant moves out. If you set your security deposit too high, you could end up missing out on any number of great tenants.
- Add-Ons – If your rental home has any additions or add-ons, they must have been properly permitted and meet all local California building codes before you can add them to your listing. Doing so without the proper permits can lead to issues with your city’s code enforcement office. If you are not sure when you buy a property, your local city clerk’s office can take the address and look to see if the proper permits were issued.
By following these basic suggestions, both you and your future tenants should be able to enjoy a long and fruitful relationship, allowing you to enjoy an exceptional return on your investment.5