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Checklist: Before You Rent Out Your Property

There are many things to think about before you start renting out your property. You should consult your accountant about the many financial and tax implications. It would be a good idea to research whether your city or county has a department that governs landlord-tenant relations. Involving your attorney in your new venture is also a good idea. It is a smart property owner who finds out in advance what laws apply to rental properties. In addition, it is a good idea to take a few minutes and think about how your rental property will affect the neighbors-both inside the building and in the neighborhood-particularly if you won't be living nearby. The following checklist should help you think about how to prevent conflicts before they arise.

Yes/no
___ The lease designates which party is responsible for mowing the lawn, raking leaves, and otherwise maintaining the yard.
___ The lease designates which party is responsible for shoveling snow and sanding/salting icy steps and walks.
___ Tenants have agreed to abide by local laws regarding noise, nuisance, and quiet enjoyment of surrounding property.
___ Tenants have agreed to abide by all other laws, including criminal laws prohibiting illegal behavior.
___ The lease states the maximum number of people allowed to live in the rental property.
___ Landlord has prohibited tenants from keeping junk, such as broken-down cars, on the property.
___ Landlord has installed a bike stand for the tenants' use.
___ The rental property has sufficient designated space for parking, and tenants know not to park in neighboring lots.
___ Tenants have agreed to abide by street parking regulations, such as maximum time allotted for parking and regulations governing plowing or emergency clearance.
___ Tenants have been reminded to pick up after their dogs and not to allow dogs or cats in neighboring yards.
___ The lease prohibits tenants from operating a business on the premises, especially if the business would bring customers to the property.
___ Soliciting on the property is prohibited.
___ Illegal activity on the property is prohibited.
___ Loitering on the property is prohibited.
___ Tenant has obtained the necessary moving day permits or authorization, such as a permit for a moving truck.
___ Landlord has made arrangements for workers to have access to the property when necessary, and the post office letter carrier has a key to the property.
___ Landlord has installed a security system and good outdoor lighting.
 
Next Steps
Contact a qualified real estate attorney to help you
navigate any landlord-tenant issues.
(e.g., Chicago, IL or 60611)

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