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Renting out an apartment: 6 tips from landlords

19.10.2022

Renting out an apartment: 6 tips from landlords

When an owner is faced with renting out an apartment, and their notebook or phone is filled with a massive list of all necessary activities, plenty of confusion might ensue. So what are all the essential things to keep in mind?

In this blog post, two landlords, Eleri and Raido, will kindly share their experiences and tips.

Compiling a rental agreement and introducing its contents to the tenant

Although the Law of Obligations Act determines what a contract can contain, its drafting can be tedious. 'The agreement must be legally correct. If you do it yourself, it will be difficult initially, but it will get easier later on,' says landlord and Rendin user Raido.

He recommends going over all the clauses of the agreement with the tenant, especially in cases where the language used in the contract is not the tenant's native language. Raido gives an example, from personal experience, of why introducing the content of an agreement is essential.

'The agreement forbade making holes in the walls of the rental home. I probably should have explained this clause more thoroughly and clarified why this must not be done. According to the agreement, I went to check the apartment's condition several months later and saw that the tenant had put a nail into the living room wall and hung a clock there,' says Raido.

'The nail was just a few centimetres from the electrical cable of the bathroom plug. I do not even want to think of what could have happened had the nail hit the 'right' spot. But, unfortunately, electricity does not work like Wi-Fi, and you must consider that there are important cables inside the walls.'

  • Which type of rental agreement to prefer? See our blog post for a more detailed analysis.

Do not underestimate background checks on the tenant

Both landlords agree that a landlord should never underestimate background checks for a tenant. 'Of course, this does not eliminate potential problems in the future, but it helps to filter out the most trustworthy people,' explains landlord Eleri.

Raido recommends that the tenant's background check be as extensive as possible. For example, suppose Rendin's background check is based on detecting debts and assessing solvency. In that case, each owner can search for additional information from social media or by Googling.

In addition, Eleri admits that she has been lucky herself. Still, she knows landlords who have had to deal with problematic (payment arrears and difficult communication after causing property damage) tenants even when they passed the background check before the tenancy.

The situation she describes is an excellent example of where the use of Rendin is a lifeline since the landlord has a guarantee of rent and utility payments, property protection, and legal support.

Price the rental apartment according to the area

For some time, we have witnessed real estate prices in general and residential rental prices experiencing a significant change. Since it plays a decisive role for almost everyone looking for a rental home, it inevitably begs the question – what is the correct formula for pricing a rental home?

According to both landlords, the main advice is to observe the market more broadly and keep yourself informed about the area where the rental home is located. If necessary, it is worth consulting with a rental market expert.

An indication of an incorrect price is usually an excessively high or, on the contrary, very low interest in the rental home.

An excellent rental ad does not raise many questions

In the opinion of the landlords, the rental advertisement uploaded in a real estate portal, social media, and/or the Rendin system should contain a sufficient amount of important information and decent photos.

'Lately, we have been opting for the video format,' shares Eleri. 'the owner can pass on this way as much information as possible, and people can get to know the place in advance, so to say. Moreover, it saves time since only the more serious interested parties remain, who want to come and see a potential home,' she reasons.

Regarding the ad's content, Eleri recommends thinking about the fundamental questions people might have. For example, the location, convenient connection/transport options, and the magnitude of utility bills. Once the rental ad has been compiled, Eleri recommends keeping it to make it easier to prepare the text in the future.

Raido finds that a cleverly made rental ad is shorter and more specific and immediately communicates who or what is allowed (e.g., pets). An indicator of a good ad is if there is no abundance of candidates after publishing it. 'The wrong price is one thing, but quite another is the description of the rental home that makes too many promises and creates an avalanche of pointless questions from those interested in renting,' he explains.

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Property maintenance requires the owner's contribution

When a tenant is living in the apartment, there are many things they should take care of themselves. Be it changing a lightbulb or replacing an accidentally broken mirror.

Then again, the rented space is the owner's property. Therefore they are responsible for its general functioning. This includes, for example, maintenance of technical systems, which results from appliances' natural wear and tear.

'You must take care of your property; others will not do it for you,' says Raido. 'An agreement can be made within the rental agreement that after a certain time, and with sufficient notice, the landlord may come to inspect the apartment's condition. This way, you can keep your eye on things. Of course, there is no point in presuming that the apartment's condition will be the same when the apartment is handed over and returned years later.'

From personal experience, landlord Eleri can share that when it comes to maintenance, things take more time than planned. 'If you must do something you have not done before, e.g., change a faucet, then you can multiply the estimated time by two, three, or even four. If time is precious, a specialist should be involved.'

A safe rental agreement and protection from Rendin

'Just recently, when renting out an apartment, my partner and I discussed that we would no longer want to rent it out without Rendin,' says Eleri. 'Both the landlord and the tenant can be confident that Rendin will act as the third party in case of conflict and help solve issues if they cannot be solved otherwise. In addition, a peaceful night's sleep is guaranteed with the knowledge that if anything happens in the apartment due to the tenant's fault, I do not have to deal with getting money from them myself.'

She also deems it essential to have an up-to-date and correct rental agreement. 'It is good that I do not have to inform myself in such detail. I can trust Rendin that the agreement is correct and complies with the law.'

Raido agrees with what has previously been said. 'I would not give up using Rendin since it is so easy and convenient. They will take care of drafting the rental agreement themselves. In case of problems with the tenant, they will come to help.'