If you’ve decided to rent out your Oahu property, you’ve made a great decision. The rental market in Hawaii is full of stable, highly quality tenants, and well-maintained homes are always in high demand. Whether you’re renting out a home you’ve inherited or a property you once lived in yourself, you’re probably wondering how to get started.
At Elite Pacific Properties, we’re ready to help you get started. All of this can be overwhelming if you’ve never been a landlord before. Contact us, and we’ll keep the process organized, professional, and stress-free.
These are some of your most important first steps.
Decide if You’re Renting for Long Term or Short Term
The first major decision you have to make is whether you want a long-term lease or if you’d prefer to rent your property out to short-term vacationers. There are pros and cons to each scenario. Vacation rentals are always in demand and you can get more money per-night, but they require a lot more management and oversight. They’re also highly dependent on the tourist season. The recent COVID pandemic has not been great for short-term rental homes.
Long-term properties provide consistent income and stability. You won’t earn as much on a nightly or weekly basis, but you will be able to budget better, and you won’t have to provide furnishings and linens.
Preparing to List your Oahu Rental Property
Before you can find a tenant and start collecting rent, you’ll need to take care of a few housekeeping responsibilities, including:
- Removing any of your own personal property from the house and having it thoroughly cleaned.
- Ensuring everything at the home works and functions the way it should.
- Pricing your home competitively to reflect the market and the demand.
- Creating some curb appeal to make sure your home looks attractive, welcoming, and move-in ready.
- Taking professional-level marketing photos. Pay attention to lighting and angles and take more pictures than you need so you can be selective.
Finding and Screening Oahu Tenants
Your rental property listing should go online so you can attract as many potential tenants as possible. Use all the popular rental sites, including Zillow, Trulia, HotPads, Rentals.com, and Zumper, among others.
When tenants begin to call and text, it’s important to be responsive and schedule showings. Walk your prospective tenants through the property and answer their questions. Offer them a chance to apply for the home, and then make sure you know how to screen those applications.
Screening is especially important and you should check credit, eviction history, and criminal backgrounds. You’ll also need to verify income and employment, and we recommend you talk to current and former landlords. Make sure you are following all fair housing laws and documenting your process.
Managing and Maintaining your Rental Property
Once you’ve approved a qualified tenant who meets all of your requirements and is ready to move in, your next step is to manage a few additional leasing details, such as collecting the security deposit and other move-in funds, reviewing and signing a lease agreement that’s legally enforceable and compliant with Hawaii’s rental laws, and performing a thorough move-in inspection to document the condition of your property.
When all of that is done, it’s time to set up processes for things like rent collection, accounting, lease enforcement, inspections, and maintenance. You’ll need to be prepared to respond to both routine maintenance and emergencies at your property. Make sure your tenants know how to reach you at all times, and start developing relationships with local vendors so you’ll have a team of plumbers, electricians, HVAC technicians, and other repair people available to help and familiar with your property.
We’d be happy to help you get started. When you’re ready to rent out your Oahu property, contact us at Elite Pacific Properties.