Not every potential backpacker lives with their mum.
So preparing your house or apartment for when you travel the world is quite an important consideration.
Preparing your home correctly before you leave will put your mind at ease. When you finally come back from your worldwide gallivant, your home should still be standing and everything as you left it!
Renting Out Your Property
Using a rental agency
Rental agencies (estate agents / property managers) will charge 10% or more a month for managing your property for you. They will deal with the minor day to day management of your property and any issues your tenant might have.
This is a desirable option if you don’t mind cutting into any profit you’ll be making. If your tenant leaves or becomes a nuisance, the rental agency will deal with it as they are contractually obliged. Plus it is in their financial interest to keep the property occupied.
Take out a classified ad
You may want to bypass the rental agent altogether and deal directly with your future tenant. This effectively cuts out the middle man, but remember the rental agency will manage the day to day issues your tenant may have.
Online communities and classicfied networks can help and put you in touch with potential tenants. Such as:
Or try the more traditional offline approachs:
- Try posting ads in the local newspaper
- Post fliers locally in places where you feel desirable people may congregate!
Don’t be afraid to interview potential tenants either, you have to trust them.
Go snap happy
Take photos of the whole property, inside and out. Should there be any damage caused by the tenant, you have some proof that you weren’t to blame.
If you have the chance, show the tenant these pictures so they are aware you have a record of the physical state of the property as you left it. Leave copies with the agency and the tenant.
Take out anything valuable
Removing your family photo albums is probably a good idea. The same goes for your whiskey collection.
Forward your mail to family or a friend
Having your mail forwarded to someone you trust is advisable. Bank statements and bills are all juicy sources of information. As are holiday postcards from your grandma.
Setting up a PO box to have your mail sent to is another option.
Leave contact information with everyone
You should leave your contact information with the agency and the tenant. Should something major happen that the agency cannot deal with. You will probably need to be contacted while your away. Make it easy for them. Leave your email, phone numbers, Skype etc.
Agree on any items that require maintenance
If the boiler blows up, who’s financially responsible? Probably you. What if the carpet gets ruined by red wine, who’s financially responsible? Certainly not you.
General household maintenance and responsibility should be agreed on between you, the agency and the tenant.
Keep a list of maintenance services for emergencies
A plumber, an electrician and the humble handyman will all be critical should a disaster happen. Email yourself and the tenant a list of a few companies that you trust or know of.