Renting my house - what am I forgetting?
March 22, 2012 8:53 AM   Subscribe

I will be renting my house to a friend shortly (June). What resources (web sites, books, etc.) would you recommend on such various issues as; drawing up a lease, potential problems & how to avoid them, things I might be forgetting, etc.

I will be contacting my insurance agent to make sure I am completely covered in that regard. But I am nervous about what I might forget/overlook.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The Nolo Press "Every Landlords Legal Guide" is exactly made for this kind of circumstance. It includes state-by-state specifics and sample forms for leases and other stuff.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:34 AM on March 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm sorry for a not providing a direct answer, but rather a warning.

How long will you be renting it for? I ask because unless you're so close, or distant, that you would be willing to let them live there for free you might end up seeing your friendship end. I've seen things of this nature destroy friendships when something unintended occurs and money becomes a sore point between you two.

If your friend loses their job are you willing to evict them onto the street? If you lose your job you can't exactly move right back into the house. Just think through the process very clearly and make sure you're making the right decision.

Another option would be to look for a local company that oversees property and pay them to take care of the process, that way you both can feel it's not a personal thing.

good luck!
posted by zombieApoc at 11:35 AM on March 22, 2012

One thing that I totally didn't think of is verifying that my friend was actually paying the utilities. They were in her name, & what kind of idiot wouldn't pay the gas bill in the dead of winter?

My (ex)friend, as it turns out. She's that kind of idiot. A pipe burst (the day I got out of the hospital after having a baby), flooded the house, & I wound up having to take an enormous loss when I sold the house as-is to my (awesome) neighbor.

So ... don't forget to check on that stuff! She & I were hanging out regularly, but never at the house -- I sure wish I'd gone by to check on it.
posted by oh really at 11:37 AM on March 22, 2012

Take pictures of the condition of every room, and note in writing any existing damage. Do a reference check with friend's current landlord to verify that rent has been paid on time, every month. Get a deposit. Is your friend a responsible person? Charge extra for pets; every (unapproved) dog caused damage, cat litter pans on wood floors, same. I can't find a copy of my rental agreement, just make sure you have something that is clear. I was totally inflexible about late rent; it's a slippery slope.
posted by theora55 at 12:40 PM on March 22, 2012

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