Renting My Personal Home - Need Help

18 Replies


Due to some unforeseen circumstances I am thinking about renting my personal home for 3-6 months. I have two families interested. I have never been a landlord and am looking for a good contract and tips/advice on renting. I would appreciate any information that you can provide. Thank you!

Three to six months isn't very long. Few folks are going to be interested in a situation where they are only going to stay for a short time then have to leave. You sure you want to do that? Stuff is going to get broken and damaged and if you're planning on moving back in after six months you may be disappointed in the condition. What if the tenant refuses to leave and you have to do a lengthy eviction?

Switch your insurance to a landlord policy.


It is a doctor who is moving to Bham from Baltimore and want to live here before buying a house. They don't want to get locked into a year lease. The timing seems to work well for my situation as well. I need advice on screening, contracts, insurance, etc. I don't think they have pets or kids.

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@Kimberly Robinson I've moved you post to the rental property and landlording forum. Have a look around this forum. There's a sticky on screening. Insurance is a simple matter. Call your agent and tell them you need a landlord policy. If they won't write it, try an independent agent who writes for Safeco or Foremost. Leases would best be provided by someone in your area. And the very best way to do it is to get an attorney to look it over. We do have some landlording forums here.

@Kimberly Robinson since this will be your first experience with a rental property I would suggest you ask around and interview 2-3 property management companies so that they handle the contracts and management and you learn from them. Be upfront and inform them you are looking for a short-term relationship for now and that you have a possible tenant and see if they will work with you. This will minimize mistakes/liabilities on your end.

As a rule of thumb higher value rents have less breakage and problems. I would evaluate if you will have to paint or replace carpets after they move.

I would still run their background check / credit check. If they sold their house before they moved, ask to see the listing of their old home. If it is all taken care of, likely you are good. Usually it is pretty easy to see when a house has been rehabbed prior sale or just cleaned and organized.

If they rented before moving, give the old landlords a call.

collect first and last and deposit, even for such short amount of time. You are only in control if you are ahead of them.

Another option for you is to have them rent the house thru airbnb. They have a GREAT insurance, and you can keep extending their stay. It may cost you less than switching your insurance.

Thanks so much! I will check with an attorney and insurance agent. Is there a good screening tool? Guatam, I think I may like to manage it myself to gain experience if I decide to purchase rentals in the future.

@Kimberly Robinson There is tenant screening on bigger pockets. You can run credit and background though that.

I believe you run a relatively low risk of major damage given your desired tenant is a Dr. looking for temp housing before purchasing a new home.

Good luck.

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I have been using the recommended "my smart move" through the bigger pockets link this time and have been disappointed. If you accidentally go straight to "my smart move" you see an almost identical site but can't log in. The requests to applicants (in which they fill out their personal data) haven't gone through until I called customer service. It seems to be a Trans Union product but I have had better luck with other screening sites. I have seen crimes with no dates. It would help me to know if these were two months or 20 years ago. I would also like to know if anyone can recommend a better source for screening. I have had to use customer service by phone too much lately.
Good Luck!!