Don’t Make This Mistakes While Renting Out Your Apartment During Pandemic

Coronavirus and the hustle and bustle that came with it changed things around the economy and not only. Because of the quick-spreading rate, we’ve seen big shifts in business-related practices and the stock market, which are important factors driving the economy. Companies quickly changed their policies, trying to prevent their profits from dropping dramatically. The people, however, felt the virus differently. Most of them lost their jobs during the pandemic, which posed further economic difficulties for their families. Renters barely made rent during the pandemic with almost all service-based businesses closing down, tourism dropped exponentially, while employment rates were higher than ever.

The economy was not friendly for either side. Landlords and their businesses suffered greatly as well, with fewer and fewer people being able to pay their monthly share. According to a report at CNBC, single-family home rents grew by 1.7%, which was the slowest rate seen in years. Demand decreased and so rent-out companies were left empty-handed, meaning that these companies will have to increase their rates once the spread abates. 

I’m sure that renting out during the pandemic can be quite a challenge, which is why you should think twice before taking this step. You should assess the costs and benefits of making such a move and try to avoid common mistakes. Here you can find a guide on the don’ts of renting out your apartment during COVID-19. Check them out and let us know if you have any questions.

Don’t allow tenants to disrespect your authority

Even though during coronavirus renting out has been a challenge to you, this shouldn’t mean that renters should do whatever they want in your apartment. You should not accept those who disrespect your rules and authority, since you are the sole owner of your personal space. In your space, rules should be enforced by you, and those who do not respect them should not be allowed in. Try to avoid renters who violate rules and policies, even if that means less money coming your way. In the short run, failure to accept these types of renters will look like a mistake, but in the long run, it will save you serious damaging costs, trust me.

Ensure that you set up clear rules before allowing them into your apartment. Inform them of any late fee payment policies. Make sure that they know what they can and cannot do in your space. For example, if your place is smoke-free, they should know this from the start and agree in writing that they won’t ever break this rule. They should also be informed from the very first start of the financial penalties that come with disrespecting your regulations.

Allow your renters to make partial payments… for now

As I mentioned earlier, the pandemic has made things difficult for everyone, including tenants, so don’t be mean about it. Allow your renters to make partial payments during this challenging period of time. However, don’t leave everything up in the air. Come up with a final deadline on when they will be able to make the full payment. Since the pandemic can be so unpredictable, your best bet would be choosing a far final payment deadline anywhere between 6-8 months from now.

Even if allowing tenants to make partial payments could be detrimental in the short run, things will get better in the long run. If you don’t make this temporary gesture of kindness, you might lose your tenants quicker than ever. After the pandemic, they will probably decide to move out, since your renting policies are so harsh to handle. Be understanding but don’t let them cross limits, or in this case, the deadline you have imposed.

Don’t forget to track rental payment history

If you’ve decided to help your tenants out with minimal payment rates, make sure you keep track of their payment history. I’m not saying all renters will try to trick you, but some of them might, especially during these challenging economic times. Ensure that you keep proofs of all the payments that they made and that you hand them a copy of each transaction separately. Keep a record on your file with their name of it and write down the dates in which they made the payments. This is a good foundation to have in case you must take immediate action against them. And you never know, do you?

Don’t be afraid to set up rules

To clearly convey your landlord expectations and prevent tenants from behaving in unwanted ways, you will need to set up the right rules at the right time before they sign the lease. Here are some of the most important house rules to impose during coronavirus:

  • Talk about the details of payment late rent, as I aforementioned.
  • Set up the conditions for your right of entry in the apartment, under what circumstances and how?
  • Talk about quiet hours and ensure that garbage removal policies are in place.
  • If your place has a kitchen, make sure you set up rules for the use of kitchen appliances and other additions.
  • Pet and smoking policies should also be implemented from the very first start.

Those tenants whose actions violate the status quo policies should be sent notices to draw attention to these issues. If these notices are ineffective, they should be asked to leave within 30 days. Don’t make the mistakes of accepting your tenant’s mistakes over and over again – this won’t get you anywhere. In fact, you could be missing out on better tenants because of your continued acceptance of unlawful action.

You can’t just evict your tenant

Most of the states in the U.S. have taken action to minimize the impact that the pandemic had on tenants; most states have imposed moratoriums on evictions, preventing landlords from evicting those tenants who hold off paying their monthly share. This policy will expire quite soon, but other regulations might be imposed. Do your research before giving your tenants ultimatums – you might be wrong and thus, faced with a serious trial ahead of you.

Conclusion

Make sure that you follow the rules and regulations on renting out and are updated on the latest trends of renting during the pandemic. Do not allow tenants to disrespect your authority, allow them to make partial payments if needed, and always track their payment history.

Author Bio

Leon Collier is an essay writer from the UK who offers essay writing help and essay writing service reviews. Leon loves to write about everything: pop-culture, history, travel, self-development, education, marketing. When he is not writing, you can find him behind a book or playing tabletop games with his friends. Follow him on Twitter @LeonCollier12.

Image: Photo by Ján Jakub Naništa on Unsplash

Renting vs Buying: What to Consider

Buying a house is the pinnacle of success—or, at least it used to be. It seems as though more and more people are abandoning the popular dream of homeownership and setting their sights on financial accomplishments that are more realistically attainable, like luxury vehicles, designer watches, and worldly travels.

That’s not to say purchasing a property is entirely off the table, though. There are plenty of affordable properties under 20k that you could buy without sending yourself into debt for several decades. There are two sides to every coin, but ultimately, there’s no single “correct” answer—it all comes down to your personal priorities. If you’re debating renting vs buying, consider these points to help you decide which option suits you best.

What’s on your time horizon?

If you’re thinking about buying a house, make sure to consider your timeline in two to 10 years from now. Will you be in the same city? Have the same job? Are you ready to settle down?

The people who like to rent are usually those that value flexibility and mobility; they don’t want to be tied down to a 15- or 30-year mortgage that locks them into one location. Of course, life happens and plans can always change, but if you have to sell your home shortly after buying it in order to move to a new city or place your child in a better school district, for example, you could lose money on your initial investment.

Bottom line: Purchasing a home is an investment in your future, but it’s a long play that will require you to live in the same place for at least two years. Just like any investment, there’s risk involved should the real estate market crash and you owe more on the property than what it’s worth.

How is your credit looking?

You’ll need a positive credit history whether you’re applying to rent or buy a house, but it’s much more important in the case of the latter. Most of the time, homeowners rely on financing to purchase a property; it’s pretty rare for someone to have a few hundred thousand sitting around in cash that they can use to complete the sale in one fell swoop.

Lenders will look at several things when reviewing your mortgage loan application, including your age and income, but credit history is one of the most important qualifiers. Not only do you need a strong credit score to finance a house, but it’s in your best interest to take the time to increase your score as high as possible in order to receive low rates.

A good number demonstrates less perceived risk, so the lender will be likelier to charge less interest on top of the principal balance—saving you a significant amount of money in total borrowing costs in the long run.

Bottom line: If you’ve missed a few bill payments in the past and are sitting on mismanaged debt, you should clean up your credit history before trying to buy a home.

Do you have money saved up?

One of the biggest differentiators between renters and buyers is the money they have saved up in the bank. Even with approved financing, you’ll need to place a sizable down payment—or, the portion of the purchase price that you pay upfront in cash—to show the lender you’re invested in the property and likely to repay the loan.

Many people think they need a down payment of at least 20% of the total price in order to buy a home, but that conventional wisdom doesn’t apply much today. While it’s true that a 20% down payment can help you avoid private mortgage insurance and save you tens of thousands of dollars in the long run, this barrier to entry is pretty steep for first-time buyers.

You can buy a home with anywhere between 5-15% down upfront, and there are also down payment assistance programs that can help you come up with the cash. Renting will also require a down payment, security deposit, and money on-hand for application fees, but these costs are usually cheaper than a mortgage and its affiliated costs.

What many people fail to realize, though, is that every rent payment they make likely goes toward paying off the landlord’s mortgage, and the price comparison isn’t that far apart. For example, if rent costs a thousand per month, a mortgage payment might be only 15% more. Rather than throwing that money down the drain on rent, those funds could be better applied to building your own wealth in home equity and increasing your net worth. You could also look into rent-to-buy homes in your area that can help you achieve the best of both worlds.

Bottom line: You’ll need to budget and save up for a home, which often leads people to stick with rent that’s easier to afford while keeping up with the cost of living—but putting in the work can pay off tenfold if you apply the cost of rent toward a tangible asset that you eventually own over time.

Are you financially responsible?

When you buy a home, the hard work doesn’t end once you get the keys in your hand. There are a lot of ongoing costs that you’ll need to keep up with, such as property taxes and maintenance repairs. And, whereas a renter could simply call up the property manager to fix a leaking sink, that responsibility will fall on you to repair yourself—unless you prefer to pay someone to do it for you.

Bottom line: If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of property maintenance and the ongoing costs of homeownership, it might be better to rent so you know exactly how much money to budget every month.

Do you have competing goals?

Finally, check in with your financial goals to see if there are competing priorities. Let’s say you just graduated from college; would you rather pay off your student loans or invest in the real estate market? Do you need a down payment to purchase a new vehicle?

Bottom line: It can be challenging to pay off debt or save money when owning a home, so consider your financial goals and decide what to accomplish first.

By keeping these thoughts in mind as you compare renting vs buying, you’ll be more likely to make the right decision for your financial future.

Samantha Rupp

Samantha Rupp holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and is the managing editor for 365businesstips.com. She lives in San Diego, California and enjoys spending time on the beach, reading up on current industry trends, and traveling.

Who Likes To Rent

The letting industry is booming. The average rent across the UK rose by 2.5% in September 2019 when compared to the same month a year previously. If you’re comparing letting agent fees, landlords are also seeing favourable prices due to the influx of online letting agent offerings.

Increasing average rent and lower letting agent fees are however being offset with tax break cuts & tenant fee bans. So, while there are ever changing variables being faced by landlords, renters are pushing forward unfazed.

It’s clear that in the long term, buying your own property/investing in a buy to let will put you in a better position financially. Aside from those that can’t afford the infamous property deposit, there are those that actually choose to rent.

In this article we look at some of the people that choose to be renters, as opposed to renting due to limited financial options.

The Bachelor

Picture the young, career driven and smart individual (male or female!), enjoying life and exploring where they want to end up in the future.

Rather than buying a long-term property, say a 3 bedroom in the outskirts of London, they may decide they want to rent a modern apartment close to the city.

Now these types of property can be valued in the £1,000,000’s! While the bachelor may not have the financial backing at this stage, their lifestyle may not yet suit a property that’s further out away from the city nightlife.

Schools

Parents consider nearby schools as a high priority when deciding where to live.

The best schools are in the most prominent areas, where the houses come at a premium. In addition, parents already located in the region are unlikely to move, lowering supply of houses in that particular area and therefore adding to the price premium.

Parents are willing to pay premium rents in these areas. The extra rental cost can be judged as offsetting costs that would have occurred in putting their child(ren) into a costly private school.

The Renting Landlord

Commonly, a landlord has a property that for various reasons, they don’t want to live in. It could be too close to parents, too far from work or not big enough.

When not wanting to sell, an option is to let out the property, while renting in a property more suitable to themselves.

This allows them to live in a suitable property, while still reaping the rewards of rental income.

Vitally, if you’re one of these individuals looking for a letting agent for your property, you can use Rentround when comparing letting agent fees & performance to get yourself the best deal.

The Divorcee

Sadly, divorce is a part of life.

During or straight after a divorce, the former husband or wife will have a period of instability in their lives. They may be using the opportunity to think about moving to the city or looking to stay near what used to be their family home to stay in close proximity to their children.

During this period, a rental property would be suitable vs. committing to buying a property.

The Contractor

Rather than being a permanent employee with a regular job, the contractor is set up under a private limited company. The person may move from company to company when their contract expires. The benefit of this type of working is high day rates and pre IR35, lower tax vs. a permanent employee.

As a new contract is taken on, the location may vary drastically compared to the contractor’s previous location.

Therefore, renting makes sense in this situation, in comparison to constantly buying & selling or living in hotels.

“I’ll get married soon”

Some people are in long term relationships or single and have their fingers crossed of finding someone soon with the aim to get married. With this mindset and possibility, buying a property as a married couple makes sense.

A couple is likely to have a larger deposit and making it a joint decision on which property to buy, makes the moving in transition easier.

The Speculator

These savvy individuals may be predicting a future down turn in the market. So instead of buying while the price is high, they decide to pay rent up until a potential crash hits prices. The individual can then buy a property at a better price, increasing their profit substantially.

In addition, after a crash it’s common to see interest rates cut and tax subsidies from the government, to re-stimulate the economy as per the 2008 crash fallout. This adds to the benefit of buying after a crash.

However, predicting a crash isn’t easy. If you get it wrong, you could see yourself on the wrong side of property price increases.

All in all, there are many reasons why people prefer to rent as opposed to buying a property. Financially, yes the favour is usually in buying a property. However, for personal, family & work-related reasons, renting provides the flexibility that is often required in people lifestyles. 

About the author: Raj Dosanjh is the founder of letting agent comparison site Rentround. Wearing many hats, Raj also runs a consultancy in the banking industry and his own martial arts club.

Can you be a landlord? How to generate rental income

Have you recently bought an investment property? Or are you downsizing and debating what to do with your family home now that it is no longer needed as your family has dispersed? Many people in this situation employ the services of a management company who will prepare the property, advertise it, vet perspective renters, collect rent and take are of repairs. Of course they do this in exchange for a percentage of the rental income that the property generates.  This can range from a set yearly nominal fee to a full months rent per calendar year or more.

If you want to get into this business yourself without a management company, it’s important to be savvy and smart.

First of all, get to know all the local laws that apply. If the property needs renovating or remodeling, make sure all the work is above board and that you get the appropriate certificates to show that you are following regulations on everything to do with electrical, fire etc. This could save you some major headaches down the line. If you are changing the use of a property then even more paperwork and certification will be required.

When it comes to the type of renovations you do, also take a look at the neighbourhood to help you decide what should be done. You do not want your property to make the whole street look bad. But you also do not need to install gold-plated taps unless your property is in Beverly Hills. Stay in keeping with the area. If it’s not an essential upgrade and it won’t increase the amount of rent you can charge, think carefully before taking on extra expenses.

When it comes to setting the rent, you can take clues from looking at similar properties in the area. It’s important to get the rent at a level that is appropriate – reasonably affordable but not so cheap that people wonder what’s wrong with the place. Rent is your income. If the property is an apartment in an urban area, you might expect a higher turnover in tenants. With this in mind your forecasts should allow for occupancy for 10 full months per year only. In more rural settings, it can be more difficult to find a tenant but there should be less of a turnover. A good rule of thumb is to allow 12.5% of the annual rental income toward repairs and required upgrades.

Set up easy and clearly defined ways for your tenant to pay their rent.

Online is often simplest and gives you automatic records with your bank. Don’t allow arrears to build up.  You are the landlord and have the right to demand the agreed rent. However, don’t be unreasonable. Communication is key in this situation and, whilst you may need the intervention of some legal entity, this should be a last resort that follows personal engagement. If your tenant goes into arrears and does not engage with you, check the law and begin eviction proceedings as soon as is legal whilst still attempting resolution.

Finding the right tenant is of course crucial to your rental income.

The first thing to do is market the property. Get some good photographs and write a comprehensive description for an online post. You might decide to arrange an afternoon of open house or set up individual showings with interested people. To make sure you’re not wasting your time, you can also put a short questionnaire online. Like this you will have essential information about them before setting up the viewing. Doing this initial stage by email and online is a big time-saver compared to doing it in person or on the phone.

rent your house

In the US, you will of course check credit ratings of every perspective tenant. A score of 600 or below is considered bad. In Europe, we rely more heavily on references. Look for references from their previous landlord and employer. Get a copy of their legal ID and their national identity number. Meet them personally. Find out how many people they are planning on bringing to live with them. Have a proper legal rental contract for you both to sign, and give them a copy (free templates are available online for this). Have clear rules about smoking and pets, and put this in writing in the contract.

If you personally live nearby your rental property, it’s easier to keep an eye on it and make sure it’s being cared for appropriately.  Of course you should not turn up unannounced or go snooping around when they aren’t home. You must respect their privacy. If you live further away, you might consider employing someone locally. If the property has a garden, having a local gardener to visit regularly will help to keep it looking well without relying on the tenant’s efforts. You will definitely need a local handyman you can call when repairs are required.

It is worth keeping the property in good condition.

In most countries expenses on repairs, cleaning and maintenance are all allowable as claims against your rental income to reduce the amount of tax you will have to pay on your income. So keep good records of these expenses. Your tenant will also appreciate living in a place that is well maintained and where they have a landlord who responds promptly to repair requests.

You can list your real estate on www.listproperty4free.com – start working on your rental income today.

Use our website to post real estate listings for free

No matter if you are a private seller or a real estate agent you are probably always happy to know another online platform to post real estate listings for free.

In this article, we like to show you quickly some of the features we offer when you list your real estate ad on www.listproperty4free.com.

Can I upload Images with my real estate ad?
Yes – you can upload up to 100 Images with your free ad.

Can I set the location of my real estate ad (Mapping Functionality)?
Yes, this is one of the main features of our website. You can set the location of your property. As a result it will show the location in your ad as well as showing your property on the map on our homepage.

Can I link to outside sites?
No. We currently do not support links to other websites. Rather, if you sign up as a real estate agent you kinda have your own page within our website. This will show like this:

www.listproperty4free.com/properties-by-agent/your-name

Am I required to create an account?
Yes. You will need to create an account to be able to post your real estate ad for free but there are no strings attached. Therefore, you can easily delete your account anytime you wish and all your data will be deleted.

Are there Special Promotion Options?
Yes, you can book extra features with your ad but this is not free of charge. Please see our pricing page for more details.

Can I post an international ad?
Yes, it does not matter where your property is located. It can be anywhere in the world.

What are you waiting for? Post real estate listings for free for thousands of new possible buyers or tenants on www.listproperty4free.com.

Property for rent in Europe and all over the World

We are happy to announce that now you are also able to list  property for rent on our website.

Discover real estate for rent in Europe. You can do so easily by using our map feature to find the location that suits you best: Property for rent in Europe or wherever you want.

Why do we offer to list rental ads now?

Initially we focused just on for sale ads. We were interested especially to make it easier for possible buyers to find cheap properties for sale and to make the “hot spots” visible on the map. Users liked this very much; we can see that our section for properties below 20,000 EUR is still the best visited page from all sections we have available.

After a while some users started to list rental ads as well. As the rental price is usually below 20,000 EUR it started to mess up our cheap property for sale page. This got increasingly annoying for everybody who was looking to buy a bargain.

So, what to do?

After thinking back and forth we decided: Why not keep everybody happy? We keep the rental ads but give them their own space. So, that’s what we did. Now you are able to list or search rental ads as well. It might be still a bit edgy as originally our site was not designed for rental ads but we will see where it goes.

As a conclusion we can only say that we are happy that you like our website and use it. We know it is not perfect but we like to keep you happy and always appreciate your feedback.