Renting a house: risks of DIY


This is an issue that we have addressed in this article analyzing those who want to sell their homes, this time we will approach it from the perspective of the homeowner who wishes to make income by renting out his or her own home. Better to rely on a real estate agency or better DIY ?

Let us try to put ourselves in the shoes of an owner. He bought or inherited a second home and wishes to rent it out for increase their earnings and improve his economic condition. In front of him a question immediately arises: "do I turn to a real estate agency or do I do everything myself ?" In the first instance he could simply analyze the costs taken on or not: obviously if he were to turn to professionals it will burden him with the expense that the real estate agency would entail, doing it himself he would have to make a personal commitment but without incurring expenses and once he has found a tenant he can start to put the property into income.

This landlord will make some considerations and most likely think that nowadays there is the Internet and Google to help solve any problem. There are several platforms where you can post a real estate ad for free, and other resources on the web where you can find out how to draft a rental agreement or even download a pre-filled one; you will simply need to customize it as needed.

Here's how our owner envisions the excursus

"I take some photos of the property, post the ad on some portal, accompany interested visitors and when I find a person who gives me confidence I close the deal, I am good at framing people anyway. At this point I download a contract taken from some reliable site and from there shortly my income will increase by 700 euros per month easily".

In fact, the very purpose of renting a second home should be precisely to increase one's income without overly straining oneself. And if everything, but everything went very smoothly, the outcome could also be this.

But the reality, unfortunately for our owner, is almost always very different.

Here is what would actually happen

The owner goes to the house to take pictures and will produce unattractive material, as he probably lacks the experience to optimize lighting, colors, and spaces. He will also address the ad's data sheets by filling them incompletely and incorrectly, consequently leaving doubts for the interested party viewing the ad.

Then posting the ad on a couple of portals from there on. Will receive several phone calls and will be forced to bring the many self-styled interested parties to rent his premises. These will be people who have viewed a poorly drafted ad with suboptimal photos; for the most part, they will be individuals who, perhaps finding themselves in financial difficulty, will also consider the property within their reach due to lack of alternatives.
Many visitors in any case will not feel comfortable among old furniture and furnishings that are too personal, walls that need to be repainted, and old faucets, and will probably overlook the conclusion of the deal. Therefore After several months, the owner will finally decide to accept the proposal of a guy who tried to pull a lot on the price, but in order to conclude he will settle.

"All right, maybe the most is done ?". No way!

The owner will download the contract template, will then fill in the fields dedicated to the data to be personalized and it will come to the signing and subsequent handing over of the keys. The new tenant will leave a security deposit say 1,400 euros and move into the house, while the landlord who is an honest and accurate person will rush to the Internal Revenue Service to register the lease.

After a few months, the landlord is called by another tenant in the building who complains about certain behaviors of his tenant. The tenant himself becomes vocal because he demands that the landlord intervene to repair a shutter and a leaky faucet.
The Internal Revenue Service shows up because things don't add up, there is some irregularity but that can be remedied by disbursement of some unanticipated or miscalculated fees at the beginning.
Last but not least: not even a year after signing the contract. the tenant phones the landlord explaining that he is going through a difficult period but only temporary; he will soon catch up with the rents.

After a few more months a transfer arrives, the amount is actually insufficient but unfortunately it is also the last money the landlord will be credited by the tenant.
In the early days, the landlord will feel uneasy, unsure of what to do and alone in the face of all this; but at some point he will decide to take the reins decisively into his own hands and take action. He in turn telephones the tenant, who by making more than one excuse will gain a few more months. But enough is enough, now the landlord will go to the lawyer, it will cost him some money but at least he will regain possession of the property.
And in fact after a further 9 months / 1 year the tenant finally hands the house keys back to the landlord who upon going to the property itself will realize that the deposit initially collected will not be sufficient to make good the damage left by the tenant.

What would happen if the owner turned to a real estate agency ?

The first aspect that professionals in the field will attend to will be to identify, based on the characteristics of the property and its geographical location, what the ideal target audience might be: a family or a single professional ? Would this house be more suitable for tourist or student rentals ?
The real estate agency, having defined the purpose of the rental, will be able to advise on possible improvements. Investing some money in the beginning will prove to be very worthwhile over time because there will be a sure return.

The next step is to identify the type of contract best suited for the purpose. The choice of contract can optimize the relationship between mostly tax costs and the income derived from rents.
In a previous article, we reviewed the various types of leases: click here to read it. For the sake of brevity here we remind you by way of example that. a rent-free contract allows the rent to be set, while with the rent-agreed contract the rent precisely is set by municipalities and territorial associations but at the same time has tax advantages.

The photographic survey done by an agency will allow the property to be presented more effectively, just as the textual ad drafted by the agency will be more incisive: on the one hand there is experience, on the other would be the result of an analysis that, as we said, was done upstream. Moreover, real estate agencies on the main industry portals benefit from paid services that a private individual cannot benefit from; services that allow, among other things, to give the ads greater visibility.

The owner will not have to worry about selecting visitors, there will be professionals who do this for a living and who will take care of it. The visits that follow will be more targeted for two reasons: the ad reflects certain characteristics, and the person receiving the calls knows how to investigate whether the interested party is really looking for that type of property. In addition, someone looking at a well-constructed ad and knowing that a real estate agency is behind it has the perception that the object they are viewing is only for referenced people and is more unlikely to pick up the phone if they are not in a position to meet the fee. Later, the moment one of the interested parties expresses interest in concluding a negotiation, a good real estate agency will put in place a set of procedures to define the creditworthiness of the prospective tenant verifying its actual income and whether it has a financial position in good standing. Take a look at our service customer check.

The lease will be perfectly in accordance with the law, and the tax commitments that the landlord will have to meet will be clear from the outset, thus avoiding hassles with the Internal Revenue Service. If it were possible to access certain tax benefits, the opportunity would not be missed. The contract will also be drafted in such a way as to protect both parties, landlord and tenant, on the post-contractual aspects, going on to specify the condition in which the property is located and the items contained therein owned by the landlord at the time of stipulation.

Saving fees, optimizing income, identifying the ideal target, and finalizing the lease with the right tenant are in themselves reasons enough to determine how convenient it is to rely on a good real estate agency. Let's also consider how beneficial it can be to save time, avoid stress, and live with peace of mind in an experience that also could be very complex.

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