I'm looking for some advice on renting a house(as the owner, not the renter). Maybe some other Geezers out there have done this before and could offer some advice to a newbie? We are buying a new house, and will be renting our current one out. I've been working feverishly on minor repairs and updates that I've been procrastinating on for years, and am getting close to finalizing everything. My main concerns with renting are:
1. Finding responsible, respectful tenants. Anyone have any tips on background checks, references, etc? I can see where this could be the hardest part.
2. Maintenance. The house has a large yard, which is quite a task to mow and maintain. Don't know if I should expect the renter to take care of it, or do it myself. Maybe include it in the rent price? What to do if the yard isn't being maintained?
3. Inspections. I'd like to be able to look the place over periodically, to make sure the tenants aren't trashing it. Also check the furnace, sump pump, appliances, etc. I was thinking maybe every 3 months, but I don't want to seem pushy or annoying.
4. The lease. I'm planning to require a one-year lease, first and last month rent up front, and of course a damage deposit. Anyone have a good sample lease that you have used in the past, and had good luck with? I have some ideas for my lease, but it would be nice to have input from someone with experience.
Any other tips or hints?