Renting Out Your Home to Travel the World

Home with rent sign displayed. | Photo by stockbroker via
Home with rent sign displayed. | Photo by stockbroker via

Renting Out Your Home to Travel the World

by Anna Boquen
Stripes Europe

If you want to travel long term with your family, renting out your home could be an excellent way to earn extra money. Because you will be away from your home for months or even a year, you may decide to lease the house to a tenant who will occupy the space for that time. In this case, your house would not be empty, but it could be earning the equivalent of your mortgage while you travel the world. Renting out a house is not something that everyone can do, especially among the 36 percent of renters in the U.S. in 2019, according to the Pew Research Center. This also means there are many renters looking for a nice temporary home. Some homeowners also worry about having another person live on their property, so before making this decision, you should be sure that you believe in the concept. Let’s discuss five things to keep in mind as you consider renting out your home while you travel.

  1. Decide how much to rent: Before you put your house up for rent, you should know how much people pay to live in your type of house. A proper market survey can provide you with a rental valuation for your property. Investigate the real estate market and discover how much people are willing to pay to become tenants in similar houses. If the going rent in your area would cover your costs, you are good to go. You must also ensure that your home is in rentable condition. If your home requires repairs, ensure they are completed before your prospective tenant arrives. The repair could include changing the furniture, or updating the air conditioning system and water filtration system. If your house has untended issues that affect quality of life or safety of the tenants, it may affect the home’s value or your ability to rent it.
  1. Consult real estate experts: You can work with a property management company to help you manage the process and make it less stressful. Property management companies are made up of real estate experts who study the market, so collaborating with them may be one of your best options. When working with management companies, you must ensure that they understand the rules that govern your property. If you have a specific type of tenant in mind, let them know so that they only accept applicants who fit your criteria. You must also negotiate with them ahead of time to determine how they will benefit from the service.
  1. Use online renting platforms: If you prefer to rent on your own, you can do so through online rental platforms. There are numerous websites where you can list rental properties. Zillow is a well-known rental website. You should post clean and accurate images of the property you want to rent and include all necessary information for your tenant. Although some tenants prefer to work with individuals, others prefer to work with real estate agents. As a result, you should make your listing credible and put yourself within reach. Include your contact information in the listing so your potential tenant can contact you with any questions about the property and coordinate viewings.
  1. Explain how things work: For your tenants’ comfort and to prevent damage to your belongings, you should explain how to use certain features in your home. When tenants move into a fully furnished home, they may not know how to handle certain items, like electronics or other household gadgets. If you decide to work with a management company, you must explain everything to the agent you are collaborating with. They will then communicate with your tenant. Labels or instructions could also be used to describe where they can find things, such as how to use a built-in home vacuum or where to change the air filter. Doing this would make it easier for your tenant to navigate the house.
  1. Set house rules: Every homeowner has rules, so you must ensure that you set rules in the form of a written contract to protect both parties. Your tenants should understand what is acceptable and what is not. Before agreeing to rent your home to a tenant, you must go over the contract and discuss the terms of their stay. If the tenant agrees to your rules, give them a copy of the signed contract so they always have a reference. Leaving emergency maintenance information and your contact information while you’re traveling also makes the tenant feel more at ease in the event of a burst pipe or broken window. Setting house rules allows you to accept a tenant who knows how to take care of your property and cause less damage.

While traveling for an extended period, you should consider what you will do with your property. It's not a bad idea to leave your house empty, but it's even better if your house can make you money while you're away cruising the world.

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