Renting Out Your Home While Deployed

Are you about to be stationed overseas? Consider renting your home while you’re deployed.

Renting is a great way to earn passive income and maintain your property at the same time. Making all the necessary arrangements on the front end of the process may seem complex, even unwieldy, but trust us when we say they’re worth it in the end.

Here are a few basic tips to get the rental process started. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Get your house in order—literally

If you’re leaving your furniture and other belongings behind, rather than putting them into storage, you’re going to want to make sure of a couple of things before you depart for your station assignment.

Here are a few essentials:

  1. Secure valuables – Unless you want to run the risk of treasured items “disappearing,” secure any jewelry or other valuables in a lockbox or safe while you’re away
  2. Leave detailed instructions – Whether it’s security systems, Wi-Fi passwords, TV set on/off procedures, or other finicky house “hacks” of the toilet-handle-jiggling variety, leave a comprehensive guide for your tenant so you don’t have to field unnecessary questions from abroad
  3. Schedule yard care – Unless you have an arrangement with your tenant, you’re going to need to hire—and schedule—someone to come by regularly to keep the lawn and other vegetation maintained
  4. Make extra sets of keys – That means some for your tenant, and some for a trusted friend, family member, or property manager, so that they can access the inside of the property if need be while you’re away

Oh, and on the subject of getting things in order ahead of your deployment—be sure to establish a direct deposit account for rent checks.

You don’t want to have to hire a property manager to collect each month, or—worse—try and wrangle your tenant for their check from thousands of miles away. Online banking makes life simpler for everyone, so get with the times and establish that direct deposit account already!

Make sure your home is in good hands

You don’t want to rent your home to just anybody.

Check out applicants’ credit scores to be sure they’re reliable candidates—and that they can be counted on to make their monthly payments on time.

Ask for references from past landlords or property managers to be sure your renter-to-be is dependable, communicative, and that they haven’t damaged anything significant in other residences in the past.

Also: entice prospective renters with a respectable rent fee.

You don’t have to go below what you think your home is worth—or what you need, financially, to stay afloat. But it is worth checking out “comparables” in the area, to see what they charge for rentals. That way you can stay competitive and have a better chance at snagging a renter.

Here are a few outreach strategies to garner interest from prospective renters:

  • Contact a realtor – There are almost certainly realtors in your area who would be willing to list your home as a short-term rental for their customers
  • Post on social media – Who knows? Someone in your network could be looking for a place to rent—or they might know someone they could connect you with
  • Place an ad – Newspapers might seem old-fashioned, but they’re still a major source of information for a lot of people—you might just find the renter of your dreams here

Ready to jumpstart the rental process?

Put a few of these helpful tips into practice, and you’ll be well on your way to renting your home and earning a few extra bucks to help with that mortgage while you’re deployed.