Liabilities of letting your home

If you are considering letting your home, consider the following before doing so:

Letting To-Do’s

  • Draw up a rental agreement that defines the terms of the rental, including restrictions, liabilities and occupancy guidelines
  • Ask for references from potential tenants, especially those that will stay for an extended period of time
  • Request a security deposit to be refunded if there is no damage to your home
  • Advise Hayes Parsons Insurance Brokers that you plan to let your home and ask about how this may affect your current cover
  • If you are letting for an extended period of time, consider hiring a ‘property manager’ to look out for your house while you are away

Protecting Your Personal Property

  • Set aside a locked place in your home to house personal items such as clothing and valuables
  • Take valuable items to a locked storage facility, a family member’s home or a bank vault
  • Change alarm codes after you are done letting
  • Provide keys to only one door of your residence so that you have to change only one lock after the tenants leave
  • Photograph and videotape all areas of your home before the rental takes place in case damage occurs while you are away
  • Tell your neighbours that you are letting and ask that they watch over your home
  • Ask your telephone company to block long distance phone calls from your landline
  • Have your post forwarded or held until you return
  • Provide your contact information for both the tenants and your neighbours in case of an emergency
  • Provide the tenants with a list of service providers, such as plumbers and electricians, in case of a water leak or furnace failure

Checking the references of potential tenants is vital when determining if you will open your home to strangers. If you uncover any red flags while tenant referencing, do not agree to let your home, even if you are afraid of hurting someone’s feelings. Your first priority should be to protect yourself and your property.