Are you considering the prospect of renting out your Richmond home? If so, it can be a sound financial move! 

Becoming a landlord can be a great choice if you want to build wealth. Owning an investment property creates passive income through monthly rent payments. You can use this money and put it towards paying your mortgage or even ramp up your savings.

That said, being a landlord isn’t exactly smooth sailing. Just because you have a rental property doesn’t automatically mean you’re on your way to success. For some, the road can be bumpy. That’s why it’s important to acquire as much knowledge as possible prior to jumping in. 

In today’s blog, we at Keyrenter Property Management Richmond will walk you through some tips on how to rent out your house in Richmond successfully. 

Know What’s Involved

Being a landlord is a full-time job. You need to know and execute your landlord responsibilities meticulously in order to be successful. The following are some of the things that will fall under your sphere of responsibilities once you start renting out your Richmond property:

  • Filing taxes during every tax season
  • Marketing the home when it becomes vacant 
  • Screening prospective tenants 
  • Maintaining the home to the required safety and health standards 
  • Collecting rent every month 

two smiling property manager looking over several documents

But even if you don’t have prior experience handling such responsibilities, you can still rent out your property. You can hire a reputable property management company to handle the duties for you as you learn the ropes of the business. 

Get the Property Rent-Ready

Once you know what being a landlord entails, start getting the home ready for occupants. Habitability laws require that landlords provide tenants with livable and safe property. In other words, the property you rent out must meet certain minimum safety, health, and building codes like running hot and cold water and working plumbing and electrical systems. 

But providing a livable property isn’t enough when it comes to renting out a home. You need to make it desirable to capture the attention of prospective tenants, as well. Remember, you aren’t the only landlord renting out a property in the Richmond area. The following are a few things you could do to make your property more desirable: 

  • Spruce up the curb appeal
  • Give the home a thorough cleaning
  • Clear out the clutter 
  • Paint the walls with a neutral color palette
  • Make repairs where necessary 
  • Invest in new, energy-efficient appliances

Understand the Virginia Landlord-Tenant Law

The Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act apply to parties that enter into either a written or verbal agreement. It grants both parties certain rights and responsibilities. 

black and gold judges gavel

It’s important that you familiarize yourself with the act in order to avoid potential issues with your tenant. For example, you’ll want to know:

  • How much notice you must give your tenant prior to entering their rented premises
  • What acts may qualify as discriminatory as per the Virginia Fair Housing Act
  • How much notice you must serve the tenant prior to raising their rent 
  • How much notice is required to terminate a periodic lease agreement 
  • The difference between normal wear and tear and excessive property damage 
  • The limit on how much you can charge tenants as a security deposit
  • The procedure you must follow when evicting tenants from your rental premises 

Market the Rental Home

Figure out what makes your Richmond rental property stand out and create a marketing copy. The ad copy should be detailed, yet concise. Also, make sure to write a proper headline, and the property’s description, and include high-quality photos. 

Next, figure out how the ad is going to reach your prospective tenants. You should distribute the ad far and wide so that as many prospective tenants as possible can view it. Distribution options include yard signs, local dailies, rental listing sites, and social media. You could also hire a property management company to do the marketing on your behalf. 

two people sitting across from each other while one fills out information on a clipboard

Screen Prospective Tenants

Be choosy when selecting tenants. Your goal should be to select the most qualified tenants out of the list of applicants. You want to get a tenant that has a history of paying rent on time, caring for their rented premises, abiding by the terms of the lease agreement, and earning sufficient income. 

When screening tenants, you’ll also want to keep in mind the Virginia Fair Housing laws. For starters, stay away from questions that touch on a prospective tenant’s protected class. Examples of questions you should ask to include:

  • Are you married?
  • How many children do you have?
  • Where are you originally from? 
  • Are you a Christian?
  • Is that a service animal? 
  • Are you Hispanic?

Additionally, make sure the screening process remains consistent throughout. Ask the same questions and require the same documentation from every applicant you screen to ensure a fair and equal process. 

Hire a Professional Property Manager

Evidently, managing a rental property requires a lot of time and effort. It can be stressful and time-consuming, especially if you are just starting out, are an out-of-state investor, or have a growing investment portfolio. 

In such scenarios, hiring a professional management firm may make the most sense. A reputable property management company will help you navigate all tasks reliably and professionally. They will have the industry knowledge and experience to ensure that your rental venture is a success. 

Bottom Line 

Renting out your Richmond property can be lucrative. However, as you can see, there is a lot that goes into it. Luckily for you, you can seek expert help if managing the property by yourself isn’t a feasible option at the moment.

Keyrenter Richmond is a quality property management company. We can help you take the stress out of managing your Richmond investment property. Get in touch to learn more!