How do I lease out my home? How do I list my home for rent? If you are asking these questions and you are a landlord (or a potential one) interested in leasing your Orange County, CA home, the first question is usually "where do I start?" You might be tempted to advertise the home yourself using the newspaper, Pennysaver, or other means, but how will you know if you are pricing the home correctly to net you the highest rent? How will you find highly qualified applicants ? How will you screen them (credit check and references)? Will you be protected legally by using the correct forms and contracts? If these are legitimate concerns, then the answer is to use a licensed Realtor to list your home for lease, to assist you in finding a qualified tenant, and to utilize all of the California Association of Realtors contracts and disclosures to protect you legally. I am a home leasing specialist so let me help you with your home.
Price the home accurately to attract the most applicants and net you the highest monthly rent
Market the home using the widest exposure including the Internet (MLS), advertising, and agent networking
Locate and screen highly qualified applicants and do it in the shortest amount of time possible
Protect you as a landlord by using California approved contracts, disclosures, and lease agreement
Add value by referring you to property managers, home warranty, insurance products, repair people, and more
Experience - I am one of the top leasing agents in my office. I have the experience and know-how to handle your transaction
Marketing - Using the Internet (MLS), advertising, networking, and other marketing methods, I give your home the highest possible exposure to prospective tenants.
Attract qualified tenants - I have an steady supply of potential tenants who find homes for lease through my web site and other marketing tools. I match these daily contacts to my listings.
Thorough screening of potential tenants - I review an applicant's credit, references, income, and employment before presenting them to you.
High quality photos of your listing - Take a look at a typical listing and it will become readily apparent that many real estate agents skimp on photos for leases. Your listing deserves better! As a former semi-professional photographer, I will take at least 10 high-quality photos of the home and post them on the MLS to help drive tenants to the listing. Here is a portfolio of some of my listing photos .
I want to lease out my home. Where do I begin?
Call me. 949-290-3263. I will walk you through the steps and help you with the whole process, as outlined below.
Do you have landlord references?
Yes, I certainly do! I have successfully helped many landlords all over Orange County. Happy to provide these to you!
Will you provide me with comparables for my home for lease prices?
Yes, this is one of my first steps. See pricing below.How will you determine the monthly price range for my home ?
I will do this by using MLS comparables I will run recent "comps" for similar homes in your neighborhood that will help us determine the right monthly rent price range. I'll e-mail the comps to you so that we can review the current market rates and decide on a monthly rent range that works for you.
Do you primarily look for tenants with good credit?
Yes, absolutely. My philosophy is that tenants with good credit will make better tenants for your home. A tenant with good credit will want to preserve their credit rating by making timely rent payments. It does take longer to find a qualified tenant with good credit, but in the end I feel it is worth the wait!
How do you screen potential tenants?
We always check credit using a three bureau credit report. We may also request other documentation to prove income, job history, rental history, and credit worthiness.
Do I have to accept any tenant, even if they have poor credit?
No! You have the right to accept or reject a potential tenant based on credit worthiness and your opinion of their ability to pay ren t. You have the right to review an applicant's credit, income, and employment history, and you may reject an applicant if their credit worthiness falls below your comfort level. However, you may not reject an applicant based on race, religion, or martial status!
What about pets, water beds, smoking?
As the Landlord, you may specify your preferences for allowing pets, water-filled furniture, or smoking. You have the option of allowing pets and you may charge an extra deposit for each pet.
Do I have discretion over which pets I will allow? For example, only cats, only small pets, only one dog, only certain breeds, or no pets allowed ?
Yes, this is typically done by specifying "submit on pets". This means the final decision is yours as to what pets you will accept from a tenant. You can specify only cats, only small pets (under a certain weight), only one allowed, or extra deposit required with second pet. You can also disallow certain breeds if you feel they could be a liability. You are in no way required to allow any pet, so you do have full discretion on this.
Note: Please be aware that there are now potential tenants who may have a doctor authorized Emotional Support Animal or Assistance Dog. You may be obligated (by law) to allow this dog, even if you prefer no pets! The tenant is still responsible for any damage by this pet.
Do you use a yard sign? lockbox, flyers? MLS listing?
Yes, we use all of the above, but the final decision on any of these is yours.
What is the tenant required to pay up front?
The tenant pays the first month's rent and all security deposits (including pet, key deposit, etc) prior to taking possession of the house. This is typically paid with a cashier's check.
What is the maximum security deposit I can charge?
In California, the maximum security deposit allowed is two times the monthly rental amount for an unfurnished home, or three times the monthly rental amount for a furnished property. However, it is more common to ask for a security deposit that is closer to the monthly rental amount (eg., rent $2200/mo, security deposit $2500). Asking for a very high security deposit might discourage many potential tenants.
Can I lease my home out furnished or does it have to be unfurnished?
Either is fine, with unfurnished being far more common. A furnished lease usually commands a higher security deposit, and this is expected by tenants. Also, many tenants seeking furnished leases, usually do so for shorter terms (eg,, 3 months, 6 months, etc) because they are renting the home while they are working on a remodel of their home, moving in from out of state while waiting to buy, etc.
Are all potential tenants presented to me?
Yes! As the homeowner, you have the final say in selecting your potential tenant, based on credit worthiness. However, we will screen out certain tenants if you have a credit threshold for example. This way, you won't have to waste your time reviewing unqualified applicants. All others however are passed on to you for review.
Do you also do property management?
No, our job is to find a qualified tenant for you. We can refer you to a property manager if you would prefer to have one to help manage your property.
What is the cost for your services ?
Commissions are negotiable. Please contact me to discuss.
Are there additional fees if the tenant renews the agreement or stays for many years?
No. Just a one-time fee, which is usually a percentage of the first year's rent. Your relationship with your tenant is 100% your business after that.
How quickly can you get my home on the market?
Usually within one day. I typically send you a listing agreement via e-mail. Once this is signed, I can take photos, put up a sign, and have your home on the MLS within 24 hours!
You mentioned disclosures above. Are there a number of disclosures required to close a lease?
Yes, there are a number of disclosures that we use for every lease. Technically they are not required (you could always rent out your home on your own without them). However, it is wise to include them, as they may help to protect you from liability. Having tenants sign all of the disclosures will show that you (the landlord) properly informed the tenant of certain conditions and that you have installed all of the mandatory safety devices in your rental property (eg, water heater strapping, smoke and CO2 detectors).
Is it a good idea to do a long lease? Two years or more?
I generally advise against doing an initial contract longer than one year. This is because you may want to keep your options open each year for rent increases. or you may want to sell your home if the market turns decidedly positive. I think it is also a good idea to use the first year as a trail period with your tenant to see if the two of you have a positive relationship. The worst case scenario might be to find yourself in a long term contract with a very bad tenant! You can always agree to sign a second year agreement if you do have a great tenant.
Will you help me extend the lease after the first year?
Yes. This is done using a one page form where you can extend the leasing dates, change the rental amount, or modify any other terms of the lease.
What about also offering a lease-option on the home?
I can help you with an option if you are also interested in selling your home at the end of the lease period. My lease-option web page here , explains all of the aspects of these transactions and what advantages it brings to you, the homeowner.
Can I list my home for lease and for sale at the same time?
Yes, you certainly can, through the use of separate MLS listings. This way you have the option of taking the deal that comes first. It is also a good way to hedge the market by offering either a higher sales price or rental price.
Can I still sell my home while it is being leased?
Yes, you always have the right to sell your home and most standard contracts do spell out terms for the tenant for showing the home and cooperating with the sale. However, you must also honor the remainder of your contract with your tenant. If the tenant is hesitant to cooperate, you can offer the home to investors as already rented, or you can offer attractive terms to your tenant to move out early, such as forgiving the last month's rent or to assist with moving costs.
If my tenant gives notice, how soon can you re-show my property for lease?
We typically include a form at the beginning of each lease, which asks the tenant to agree to cooperate with showings after they have given 30 (or 60) days notice to terminate. This document also covers use of a lockbox and yard sign. Wed can re-list your home as soon as you receive notice of termination.
If you have any other questions, call me today at 949-290-3263 to discuss!
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If you are interested in leasing or renting your home, please give me a call. I am a highly experienced agent who can help you with your home in Orange County, CA. Call me today at (949) 290-3263. Home leasing agents, Orange County.