With most of the traveling restrictions lifted, more and more people are going back to their normal routine. That means going back to work as usual, enrolling back in to universities and even traveling from place to place for business or family purposes. As the mobility of people increases, they will have more reasons to find nearby homes to settle down. This return to normalcy is paving the way for homeowners who have extra inhabited properties or rooms to make money.
As the demand for rental housing increases, you should consider turning those properties into an asset. But first, you must understand the whole process. Read the most important questions often asked before you can become a landlord in Landlord 101: 5 Questions First-Time Landlords Should Ask. Once you have grasped the basic understanding of becoming a landlord, it’s time to jump straight into the actual steps!
Step 1: Understand your situation
Analyze your possible rental scenario before making a decision to rent; should you rent out a room or the entire unit? Apart from the space availability, the answer depends on which one do you value more, privacy or return on investment.
Room: less privacy
If you have an extra unused bedroom in your home, consider renting it out or get a roommate. This way, a space won’t be wasted, in addition to earning a passive income from it. Bear in mind, having a roommate sometimes means having to share a common area like a kitchen or bathroom, leading to a lack of privacy. Other than that, there is a chance that your roommate will have differing standards of cleanliness and noise levels, and a more flexible schedule leaving and going back home. Consider your tolerance levels for living with strangers before committing to this plan.
Entire unit: Less return on investment
Let’s say you inherit a home in KL while still living in another home. Instead of traveling back and forth to look after the extra property, why don’t you rent out the entire home instead? In fact, instead of using up your savings to service the property, you’re using the home rental income to cover the maintenance costs while also earning additional money. However, renting out an entire home usually will yield a lower return on investment.
For example, a family of three lives in a 3-bedroom apartment for RM1,500/month. But when you rent it out by room for RM700/month, the price range still seems more affordable to tenants but it is actually more profitable to you.
Step 2: Furnish your home
Although not required, furnishing your home can benefit you as a landlord due to a higher rental income. In general, furnished properties are more in demand than unfurnished, especially among young people who are still actively pursuing their studies or career growth and not looking to settle down yet. This is mainly because it’s more convenient to move around and it’s aesthetically appealing.
For many renters, the thought of moving can be overwhelming. The idea of transporting an apartment's worth of furniture into another one does not sit well with them. By furnishing your home, it eliminates some of the stress that comes with moving. Most tenants prefer a convenient process where they don’t need to rent a large moving truck or spend thousands of Ringgit on furnishings when they can have it taken care of by the landlord. Additionally, this enables them to move into their new home right away.
Unlike homebuyers who are price-sensitive when buying a permanent home, tenants are willing to pay a little more for a unit that satisfies their daily requirements and fulfills their desire for a lifestyle. Interior design is crucial in attracting especially young renters as it serves the aesthetic purpose and improves the living quality. Many young professionals prefer instant gratification and are willing to pay a higher rent provided the apartment meets all of their daily and lifestyle needs.
Higher rental income
A furnished property can achieve 20% higher rentals than an empty unit or a unit with basic furnishings. This is due to the convenience it offers; tenants don’t have to pay for a piece of furniture (let alone the entire home’s furnishings) as the landlord themselves will cough up their money to furnish the property. To compensate for this, the landlord would naturally set a higher asking rental price.
Additionally, very few individuals would rent a furnished home for an extended period of time. When tenants look for a long-term stay, such as more than 5 years, they would want to have their own belongings, spent with money they are saving up by renting an empty property. As a result, furnished residences attract more short-term renters and have a higher renter turnover rate.
Step 3: Make sure you are covered
With so much of your funds going into purchasing and furnishing a house, it only makes sense to do everything you can to safeguard it. Unexpected catastrophes such as earthquakes, fires, floods, and even burglary can cause destruction on your most valuable asset out of the blue.
Therefore, if you want to protect your financial interests in your property, you should purchase a home insurance policy. Home insurance is a form of property insurance that covers your home and its belongings against loss or damage. You're also protected from liabilities arising from incidents that occur inside or on your property if you are covered by home insurance.
There are three types of home insurance policy and each has a different range of coverage:
1) Basic Fire Policy,
2) Houseowner Policy and
3) HouseHolder Policy.
If you want to learn more about each of these home insurance policies, its coverage and the options out there, read this article (Landlord 101: What are Your Responsibilities?).
Step 4: Prepare a solid tenancy agreement
What is a Tenancy Agreement
Disputes between landlords and tenants are sometimes the result of a hazy set of norms and obligations. Thus, it's critical to convey your policy to your tenants, defining what you expect of them, and to document it in an agreement. A tenancy agreement is a legally binding contract between the tenant and the landlord. Tenants should be notified of the policy before moving in so that they are aware of what they are getting themselves into.
A controlling document
Some landlords would disregard the importance of this legal document since the time and effort necessary to create and execute the tenancy agreement is inconvenient. However, as there is no particular legislation in Malaysia that controls the contractual relationship between a landlord and a tenant, the tenancy agreement becomes the controlling document. Therefore, it would be in the best interests of both parties to have a solid tenancy agreement in place, which serves as a finalized and concrete version of whatever both sides have discussed and agreed to.
To know in detail about a tenancy agreement, read this article (Instahome's Tenancy Agreement Guide),
Step 5: Find the right tenant
Selecting a tenant is a business decision where your definition of the right tenant is grounded in their background, rather than a solely first impression. Therefore, in order to pick the ideal tenant for your rental property, you must know what you're searching for and what to look out for.
You may also come up with several questions to have a deeper understanding on their tenancy purposes and see if their answers fit your criteria for a tenant. Some of the questions can include:
- Where do you work?
- How long have you worked there?
- Do you have any pets?
- Why are you looking to move?
- How was your experience with past landlords?
When it comes to selecting a tenant, the most important factor to consider is whether or not the potential tenant can and will pay their rent on time and in full every month. There are several ways to determine this, including running a credit check to determine their financial responsibility, requesting proof of current income (to ensure that they have a stable source of income) and reviewing their previous rental history to see if they have paid rent on time in the past.
The second factor is to be able to at least predict their behaviors towards your property. Although it is not a clear-cut matter, you can start by looking at some indicative factors such as their eviction and criminal history.
How do you go about carrying out the abovementioned steps? You will need to hire services for that, which will require extra fees from you. With Instahome, you get free basic tenant screening. Furthermore, you can also purchase a package that includes advanced screening and a Rental Default Guarantee.
Read more below to find out why you should choose Instahome.
Renting out your property with Instahome
At Instahome, we are driven by the promise of an end-to-end experience to both our tenants and landlords. We collaborate with our partnered real estate agents and assign them to work directly with landlords. This way, landlords can secure the best method when renting out their property. Remember - Instahome is not just focused on renting out your property; we’re making sure everything is done fast and safe!
"What you see is what you get" is a guarantee we deliver to our tenants when they view homes at our website. How do we deliver that? By providing a virtual tour with 360° views for tenants to examine your home with flexibility and comfort. We also prepared other media assets to help market your property by sending out a team to shoot HD videos and photographs of the home.
By supporting landlords with all these digital viewing aspects, you don’t have to worry about marketing your property all by yourself! Tenants who view your homes at our platform are more likely to proceed to the booking stage as the viewing part is available online, along with all the detailed information of the property.
We have also closed a record-breaking transaction time of 9 hours! Thanks to our fully digital platform, everything can be done online; from searching to viewing (virtual tour) to booking! Check out what the media said about Instahome, click here.
Read more about our digitalised home viewing experience in this article (Renting Homes Online: The New Way to Rent).
As mentioned before, it is important that you find the best tenants based on their backgrounds. However, the process of filtering out the good from the bad tenants can be tiresome and costly. At Instahome, we perform background checks on our tenants. Their profile is evaluated to ensure that they meet your requirements and to determine how financially responsible they are by examining their spending patterns. Instahome partners with CTOS Data Systems Sdn Bhd (CTOS) to do a credit check on their background, which includes bankruptcy, legal proceedings, delinquencies, and criminal history.
Other than thorough screenings, we also have another solution to ensure you’re protected. Instahome’s Rental Default Guarantee (RDG) will back you up in the event of a tenant's late or non-payment rent. If your tenants quit or fail to pay their rent, this plan rewards you with one month's rent. The cost of screening our tenants along with the Rental Default Guarantee is just 5% of your monthly rent. Before you receive the rent payment, the fees for this plan will be deducted from the tenant's monthly rent by us. So no extra effort required on your end!
So what are you waiting for? Be part of Instahome and get all the help you can!