22 answers

How to Lease a House

I am seeking advice on the how to Lease a House. This will be our fist time Leasing our house and we have no idea what kind of questions to ask the tenants what forms do we need to fill out. What will be our legal rights as well as the tenants? What is the procedure to go about this? We are going to be living out of town so how would we collect the rent? Can we do a draft from there bank account? Anything anyone can tell me will be greatly appreciated. With the market beign so bad we could not sell our house we tryed its just impossible for us at the moment.

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I am a license Realtor (not practicing at this time). But I would like to give you some advice. You can google Texas leasing agreements. Sometimes they give you some simple free application that you can download. Or you can contact HAR.com and they may sale you a few. I would have a background and credit check done. You can contact a loan officer to do that. I would also check with his/her employer for job history and pay. You will need to know that they can afford the home. As far as payment you can set up a separate account and have them to deposit the money there or you can use a leasing company who will charge you a fee or percentage of the rent. You can also have them to simply mail the check or money order by a certain day of the month. That is just a few pointers. I am sure some other realtors may have some better ideas for you. Hope this helps.

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You can totally do it! Check out legalforms.com for more info on specific forms and stipulations. You just want to make sure you get a good application, references, employer history, rental history, why they are looking to lease, previous rental history, and always ask for deposits and money via money orders or cachier;s checks keep record and always give a receipt.

Don't forget to list the items that are not permanent in the home as part of the property such as washer dryer, microwave, fridge, blinds, windows screens etc. You never know??!?!?

Hope this helps.

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Have a note book handy and start making up names and put on the list. This makes it easier to choose the right tenant, because you do not want to make a quick descision. When you get a phone call or you interview them tell them you will add them to the waiting list, this will give you time to check them out and do call other places they have lived. If you can do a back ground check for everything. Alot of time you can just log on the your county web site and get that info for free.
Now lets assume you found someone, you can get lease papers at a office supply store, or go to an attorney the first time and get them to draw you up a lease agreement. OK, now they are in the house, a way to check up on them to see if they are taking care of the inside of the house is to go over once month or every 3 months and change out the A/C filters, this is you way of checking on things without them knowing that is what you are doing. Also, it is good to only give a 6 month lease to start off with, that way if it does not work out you will not have to wait to long to get rid of them, and if they are good tenants, give them a longer lease.
Please be sure to check both husband and wife for a back ground check, you will be surprised just how many women have a bad back ground check. Have them sign a paper giving you persimmon to do this back ground check, unless it is open records. But I would not tell them if it was bad, just they are on the waiting list. See that is your way out.

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I would contact a local realtor (one who specializes your neighborhood) and ask them about reliable property managers... property managers usually charge about 10% of the rent... they collect the rent, arrange for repairs, and deal with re-renting if the tenants move out. If you use a property manager who is also a realtor - they often don't charge the full fee when the house is empty.

You could also have a family member manage the property but there are pros and cons to that as well!

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

We started renting a house back in 1986. We always used a real estate agency to rent the house. They will take care of the listing, background checks and contract. Since the house is close to us, we handle the rent collection and repairs.

More recently, we started renting a home further away. And I am in the process of helping my mother rent her home. She will live out of town. For these homes, we are using a property management agency. This agency handles the house listing (through a real estate), contract, collection of rent and repairs. They retain 10% of the monthly rent for their fee. And they keep the tenant's deposit (usually equal to one month's rent) in an account to cover the repairs. The next month's rent will replenish what was used, and the owner gets what is left over.

Since you indicate you will not be living close to this rent house, I would recommend you use a property management agency. If you live in the Houston area, contact me privately and I will send you the name of the agency we are using.

1 mom found this helpful

I have been on both sides of this (Landlord & Tenant) & you can do this yourself. I was also a realtor who handled lease houses & manged them. If you hire a realtor to handle the leasing for you, there will be a commission involved, which is usually one months rent. If you decide to use a management company, there will also be a monthly fee for that but that can be negotiable. Make sure you do a credit check and check the rental back ground. When we leased our home, we wanted to make sure the renters were non smokers or smoked outside. I'm a smoker but NOT in the house. Also, make sure to ask about pets. We didn't mind fish or turtles, but dogs/cats/Large Birds can be a problem so if you want to allow those types of pets make sure to get a pet deposit to cover any type of damage, expecially the carpet. We were also looking for a family that was not too large. We had some families that were the two parents and 4-5 kids. We were on a septic so that was a concern of ours.

As far as the collecting of the rent, we gave them a choice to pay on the 1st or 15th, with a 3 day grace period. We didn't have any problems and the check was sent to us promptly every month on time except for one & they called us to make arrangements. We really liked the couple and they didn't have all of the deposit so we allowed them to pay down half and the other half was paid with the first month's rent. Their credit was not great but their rental history was excellent.

Hope this helps

1 mom found this helpful

My advise is to find a good Real Estate office that has a Property Management department and let them do all the work. You will pay them a fee (monthly) and trust me it is worth it and more so if your are not going to be living in the same town. Whoever leases it will be bound by their legal agreement and they will be on site to check on the property and check the renters before renting. In most states even when you own the house and lease it the law protects the person you lease to and "YOU will have to go file if you ever have to try and collect rent or have them evicted" and then THEY have 30 days-- when You own the property-been there--and the fees came out of my pocket. they trashed the house and were gone in the night. Property Managers have the legal right the lock them out and work for you.


1 mom found this helpful

Hire a real estate agent or management company. It may cost you 1st and last months rent, but piece of mind is worth it. They find the renters, they do the background checks, they collect rent, they fix issues (after talking to you first) it is all in the contract.

Good luck

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