6 Things to Consider When Renting Out Your Furnished Home
You’re off to see the world, or you have a lengthy out-of-town business assignment, but you’d like your home to be ready and waiting for your return, even if that’s months or years from now.
Instead of leaving it empty and idle, you’ve decided to rent it out. After all, that extra income will help, and it’s better than leaving the house empty. You might be sure that you’ve found the best possible tenants, but you should still ensure that anything that goes wrong doesn’t leave you with regrets. Use these tips to mitigate your risks.
Protect Your Valuables
Just to be safe, it’s best to remove your most valuable items before your tenants move in. Art handlers can store valuable paintings and artworks, ensuring that they don’t get damaged either during transit or while they are in storage. If it’s “irreplaceable,” don’t run the risk of it getting damaged by tenants. Store it away safely.
If you’re leaving your car behind, get a storage unit. Be sure to prepare your car properly for storage and expect the need for some maintenance on your return. Your bank can take care of small valuables like coin or jewelry collections. The bottom line? If it’s really valuable, take care of it instead of leaving your tenants to do so.
You Still Need to “Move Out”
Even if you’re renting your home out furnished, you’ll have to clear away your personal effects. You could use a room in the house to store personal items, or you might decide to use a storage facility.
If you choose the latter option, build the storage cost into your rental if possible. You should also consider the cost of cleaning and preparation that ensures your house is a “clean slate” when tenants move in. In any furnished rental, but even more so with an upmarket one, your tenants won’t like a “lived-in” look or the need to clean up before they settle in.
Make Sure That Your Insurance Has You Covered
Discuss your plans with your homeowner’s insurance company. Accidents can happen even with the best tenants, and you need to know that you’re protected if the worst happens. Unfortunately, most insurers won’t cover furnishings in a rented property. Be sure you know where you stand and what your risks are. Do check on liability too. For example, will you be sued if someone were to fall downstairs, or will your insurance cover costs?
Your insurer may choose to charge higher premiums while your property is rented. The assumption is that tenants won’t take care of your things as well as you do, and claims against accidents and injuries are likelier. Even if the costs are higher, it’s still worth making sure you’re protected by insurance.
Charge a Higher Security Deposit
A security deposit helps you to recover losses and repair wear and tear that occurred while you were away. Since you’re renting your home out fully furnished, you can charge more, and if your home and furnishings are upmarket, the security deposit could be a substantial sum.
Consult property management experts if you aren’t sure what to charge, but the amount should discourage your tenants from being careless and cover minor damages that may occur.
Have Some Supervision
A cleaning lady who “comes with the house” and whose salary is completely or partly built into the rent can act as eyes and ears on the ground. It’s not an unusual arrangement. After all, hotels do much the same thing.
She should be aware of the condition of the house at handover and willing to notify you if she spots any problems with how your tenants are caring for the house. It’s a bit of extra peace of mind!
You may also want to include a handyman who can be called on for those “little” problems tenants sometimes experience and a grounds maintenance company if you have a pool and garden that needs regular attention.
Add Some Extra Protection
Your beautiful wooden furnishings can easily be damaged by a carelessly-placed cup or an inadvertent spill. Plexiglass sheets can help to cover those surfaces and limit the chances of damage.
Ensure that there are mattress protectors on the beds and if your carpets haven’t received a stain-protection treatment lately, renew it. Presumably, you’re not expecting a rampaging horde of barbarians in your house, but a few little extras can save you some pain on your return.
Prepare for the Worst and Look Forward to the Best
With so many provisions in case, things go wrong, you might have second thoughts about renting out a furnished home. While it’s true that you could come home to damages, there’s also a good chance you’ll find that your tenants have been considerate and careful, leaving your house as you would like to find it.
In case you need reassurance, many people rent their furnished homes out while they’re away, and most are happy with the results. All the same, a little extra care goes a long way when the worst happens.