Are you planning to rent out a Las Vegas home? Whether you’ve purchased your first investment property or you’re renting out a home that you once lived in yourself, this is perhaps one of the best financial decisions you’ve ever made. You can expect to earn some consistent rental income (and rents are going up in Las Vegas), and you can also expect some great long term appreciation on your asset.
But, you have to do things right in order to have a successful rental experience.
Before you start advertising for tenants and collecting those rent checks, you need to make sure your property is adequately prepared for the rental market. It’s easy to rush when you know your home has a lot of potential on the rental market. Slow down and make sure you’ve checked out everything that needs checking.
We’re helping today, with a list of 7 things that you absolutely must check before you rent out your Las Vegas home.
1. Can You Even Rent Your Home? Check for HOA Requirements
More and more Las Vegas properties are in HOAs or condo associations. Depending on what you own and where you are, it’s possible there are limits to what you can rent and when you can rent it. Some associations will restrict how many homes within a community can be rented. Others will place time limits on how long you must own a home before you can rent it out to tenants.
If a rental restriction policy is in place, make sure you can work within those restrictions. Typically, an HOA board will set these restrictions to protect the community from having more rental properties than full-time, owner-occupant residents.
Check your governing documents before you decide to rent out your home or to buy a home that’s in an association.
There may also be minimum rental periods. This is to restrict the number of short-term renters that may come in and out thanks to platforms like Airbnb. Restricting short-term rentals is pretty common in Nevada HOAs, so if you’re thinking about renting your home out to vacationers or short-term residents, you might find additional restrictions and limits in place. Your association likely does not want your property to become something like a hotel.
2. Know the Right Las Vegas Rental Price
Figure out what you’ll be renting your home for in advance of listing it on the market. You don’t want to dive into the idea of renting out the property if you can’t earn enough to make this worth it for you.
Rents are high in Las Vegas right now, and they’re continuing to climb. You can likely earn the rent you want. But, if the mortgage on your property is expensive or there’s a lot of work that needs to be done to get it ready for the market and keep it maintained, you’ll want to do the math to ensure this is worth it to you.
The market, ultimately, drives what you can earn in rent.
Take a look at what similar homes are renting for in your neighborhood, and stay in range. A property that’s underpriced will lose you money right out of the gate. A home that’s overpriced will only lead to long vacancies.
Make sure you’re using the best and most reliable data. You can take a look at online rental sites, but to really get the most accurate range before you price your property, talk to a property manager in Las Vegas who tracks the rental prices and the length of time that homes are on the market.
3. Make Sure You’re Properly Insured
Adequate insurance is absolutely critical.
If you lived in the home before deciding to rent it out, there’s likely a homeowner’s insurance policy in place. You need to change that to a landlord policy. If you neglect to make this change, your potential claims may not be covered.
The major difference in these two policies is that with a homeowner’s policy, your personal possessions inside the home are covered. A landlord policy only covers the structure of the home and provides extra liability insurance. This is a good reason to require renter’s insurance from your tenants.
Talk to your insurance agent about the necessary coverage that you’ll need when you turn your property into a rental. Not only do you want to be sure you have landlord insurance; you also want to make sure that extra insurance is available for the things that might be excluded. Loss of rent, for example, can be a huge benefit if you need to move your tenants out for a repair or a remodel. You’ll want insurance for that.
Plan to ask your tenants to buy renter’s insurance. This isn’t a huge cost for them, and it ensures their personal property is protected. It also provides extra liability protection if a loss is due to their actions.
4. Put Together an Enforceable and Compliant Lease Agreement
You need a strong lease agreement in order to effectively rent your Las Vegas property to tenants. Make sure you have it reviewed by a property manager or an attorney. It’s easy to forget something that needs to be in there. You want an Nevada-specific lease that’s legally compliant and enforceable in the state.
There are specific legal terms and addenda that need to be included in your lease. You’ll also want the lease agreement to reflect:
- Your rent collection policy.
- Your process for requesting emergency and routine maintenance.
- The tenant’s obligations and responsibilities when it comes to maintaining and cleaning the home.
- The terms of the lease agreement and what happens at the end of the tenancy.
- Steps that must be taken to get the security deposit back.
- Rules and regulations around guests, smoking, pets, noise, parking, and other factors.
- Notice requirements if the landlord needs to enter the property.
- Contact information for owners, tenants, and/or property managers.
The lease is the most important document that will govern your relationship with your tenants. It will protect you from misunderstandings and confusion. Make sure you know where to get a good lease. Downloading a general template off the internet is not a great idea. It won’t cover everything you need. Contact a property manager or a landlord/tenant attorney for a good lease agreement.
5. Conduct a Maintenance Check for Functionality
Walk through your property and look for any safety issues. Smoke detectors need to work, windows and doors need to lock, open, and close, and you want to be sure there aren’t any hazards like loose steps or broken handrails.
During your inspection, test everything in the property. Make sure the heat and the air conditioning turn on. Check every outlet, turn on every faucet, and flush every toilet. Run the appliances. Open and close closet doors. You want to offer a home that’s functional.
There’s nothing worse than starting off a tenancy with a long list of maintenance requests. Provide a home that’s clean and well-maintained and you can expect your tenants to return the home to you in the same condition. It sets a standard and it also allows you to start your tenant relationship on the right foot.
6. Check for Aesthetics: Upgrade and Improve
Before you list your home for rent, think about what may help you earn more rent and attract better tenants. Could the carpets use replacing? Does the paint need refreshing? Are the appliances old? Tenants are drawn to modern homes that look welcoming and attractive. They’ll pay more for things like hard surface flooring. Think about what you can do to make your property more competitive on the Las Vegas rental market.
You don’t want to spend too much money on expensive renovations. But, when you can make some simple and cost-effective improvements, you’ll find that you’re able to attract the best tenants quickly. You’re also able to increase your rental value and avoid long vacancies.
Get an idea of what tenants are looking for. Granite counters and marble floors are likely unnecessary. But, new energy-efficient appliances and updated lighting can go a long way.
7. Make Sure You Have Las Vegas Property Management Partners
Finally, if you’ve decided to rent out your Las Vegas home, make sure you’re supported by a great team of property managers.
It’s certainly possible to lease, manage, and maintain your own home. But, you might find that you earn more and spend less when you work with a professional property manager. We have access to great vendors and contractors who provide discounts on the work they do for our properties. We know the Las Vegas rental market and how to leverage what you earn in rent. We also understand the competing properties and the demands of this area’s best tenants. We have strategic marketing plans, a responsive showing process, and tech-driven screening and maintenance tools.
You’ll be much better off with professional help. There’s less stress, better tenants, and higher rents. When you’re ready to talk about how to effectively rent out your home, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Strawberry Property Management Las Vegas.