In Part 1 of our series on houses for rent in Ventura, we gave you some things to consider when deciding on whether you want to rent out your home or not. In today’s post, we would like to continue that discussion and also begin talking about one of the most important aspects when becoming a landlord, finding tenants. In a following post, we will go into more detail about finding and screening tenants.
How Much Can You Rent your House For?
When trying to gauge how much rent you can collect, there is a term known as “fair market rent.” Fair market rent is the amount that your local market dictates that most renters will be willing to pay. I am sure that most landlords would love to be able to charge whatever amount they like, but in reality, rental prices are based on what the market is willing to pay. The way to determine the fair market rent is to do some research on the houses for rent in Ventura near your property. Your house should rent for generally the same amount as the homes with similar size and condition in that area. The best way to determine fair market rent is to pretend that you are looking for a place to rent and see what the prices are going for. There are various ways to do this, including different websites, calling property management companies, and looking at classified ads. For a review of some of the websites featuring houses for rent in Ventura, you can read one of our earlier blog posts. Most of the websites should have all the details you need to find homes similar to yours, but if you call different property management companies, you can tell them what you are trying to do and they should be able to give you a good range of what your home should rent for.
Security Deposit for Houses for rent in Ventura
Once you determine the fair market rent value and how much you will rent your home for, the next thing to do is determine if you are going to collect a security deposit, and how much you will be collecting. A security deposit is an amount that landlords or property managers collect from a tenant prior to moving in. It is used to ensure that the tenant fulfills their obligations under the lease and can be used for cases such as a tenant causing damage to your home outside of normal wear and tear, in case the tenant did not clean the property before moving out, or if they try to leave while still owing rent. California law states that houses for rent in Ventura cannot have a nonrefundable security deposit and it must be returned to the tenant unless kept for a lawful purpose. The maximum amount of the security deposit in Ventura County cannot be more than two months’ worth of rent for unfurnished units or no more than three months of rent for furnished units. More information about security deposits and the scenarios in which you can withhold an amount from the tenant can be found on the California Department of Consumer Affairs website.
Finding the Best Tenants for Houses for rent in Ventura
One of the biggest factors that will make or break your experience as a landlord is the tenants that you rent to. One terrible experience with a tenant can not only cost you valuable time and money, but can ruin your desire to be a landlord for the rest of your life. On the flip side, knowing how to properly find and screen tenants will make your life a whole lot easier and eliminate most of the headaches of being a landlord. Ideally, you want to find tenants that will treat your houses for rent in Ventura as their own. Finding and screening tenants should be a thought out and thorough process and should not be done haphazardly.
Advertising Houses for rent in Ventura
In order to find great tenants to rent to, you must find a way to advertise that you have houses for rent in Ventura. There are several methods for doing so, and the more people that you are able to reach the more applicants you will have to choose from to find a potential tenant.
- Newspaper: Though quickly loosing popularity, newspapers and other classified papers are still ways to attract tenants. It usually costs a fee to post ads in newspapers, so you probably want to do a little research and find out how many people actually read that certain paper. As there are a lot of free ways to advertise online, many people with houses for rent in Ventura may prefer to forego advertising in newspapers and go the online route.
- Yard Signs: Another tried and true method for attracting potential tenants is by putting a “for rent” sign in your yard. Depending on how much traffic passes by your home, you may or may not get many inquiries this way, so I would not rely on using only this method. Used in conjunction with other methods, it can only serve to help you attract tenants. Also beware that this method is usually a sign for people that your house is vacant, so it can also attract unwanted attention to your home. If you have houses for rent in Ventura that are not located in the best of neighborhoods, this may not be a good idea.
- Online advertising: Even if you choose to advertise with a yard sign and in newspapers, you would be doing yourself a disservice if you did not advertise online. Not only is online advertising free in most cases, but you have the potential to reach a lot more potential tenants than by any other method. A quick google search will return you a sizeable list of sites where you can advertise your property online.