Understand the Laws In South Carolina
Research federal and state laws that cover tenants and landlords. The Fair Housing Act specifically lays out what constitutes illegal discrimination against qualified tenants. For instance, one is permitted to base their decision on credit or criminal history but not on race, religion, national origin, gender, age or family status. To ensure you conform to state and federal laws, visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website or consult a local attorney or legal information sites.
Know Where to Advertise
With a fee of $50 to $100 for each advertisement, you can advertise property on sites like rentals.com or rentalhomesplus.com. Be aware when using free sites such as craigslist.org, which have become infamous for scammers who change the contact information on rental listings and take the rent money of potential tenants before disappearing. Screen everyone the same no matter where you find them, even those from family and friends.
Clean Your House
Even before spending time advertising or putting the word out, make sure your house is in great condition and ready to show. Get rid of clutter and take care of any repairs.
Because many potential tenants in need of housing already have been looking, they could respond within hours of an ad posting. A well-maintained house increases your chances of securing a responsible tenant.
Do Background Checks
The only way to determine whether they will be good tenants is based upon their past history. Sites like creditinvestigators.com will investigate an applicant’s employment, credit history, bankruptcies, evictions and criminal records. Fees for these reports run from $10 to $70 per adult screened. Make sure that you or the company you hire calls the applicant’s employer to verify their income.
Use a Lease Agreement
A strong lease sets the terms and conditions for the tenants living in the house. These include facts like who will live there when rent is due, penalties for late rent, and so on. You will have to be picky because a good lease spells out the policies and basis for eviction. Have high standards; do not settle out of desperation. You’ll end up with a lower-quality tenant that could cost you in the long run.