6 Major Things to Know Before Renting Out a Home
By Kay Pascale
With the rising rate of short-term and long-term rentals, there’s a lack of knowledge when it comes to what exactly needs to be done. Different scenarios for renting out your home could yield different challenges. Overall, if you’re deciding to rent out a home to others, there are some basics you should know before you market the home to find a tenant.
1. Pay Attention to Your Home’s Exterior
If you don’t think the exterior of your home matters, think again. Houses are instantly judged just by how the outside looks. If a home looks clean and manicured from the outside, potential renters will remember it and have a more positive outlook before seeing the inside. Although keeping up your curb appeal may be demanding for you and your wallet, you can follow some simple tips to manage the toll nature may take on your home and achieve a beautiful look.
2. Understand Indoor Mechanics
The inside of your home goes a bit beyond just looking nice. You need to be prepared for questions about appliances, recent updates, home improvement projects, and how well the working parts are doing within the home. Specifically, air quality can be a huge question among potential renters. Become educated on indoor air quality and other mechanics of your home so that future tenants can feel safe inside.
Learn About Required Legal Actions
Before renting out a house, know that there are some legal actions that need to be addressed if you’re becoming a landlord. Things like insurance and the Rental Housing Amendment Act are good places to start. There are also specific taxes that need to be considered and extra taxation claims to your personal account. Seeing a professional may be a good way to make sure your legal odds and ends are covered.
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WHAT ARE THOSE POWDERY WHITE AREAS ON MY BRICK WALLS?
Efflorescence is one sign that is often dismissed as just being an eyesore and is given surface treatment only. This is the presence of the white powder that forms on the face or surface of concrete, plasterwork and brickwork.
It is a cause for concern!
Efflorescence is a build-up of minerals and salts on the surface of the concrete, brick and plasterwork due to repeated bouts of excess water in the material. The minerals and salts that naturally occur in the material are dissolved when the brickwork, plasterwork or concrete is waterlogged with water.
Concrete, pavers, brickwork and plasterwork are porous and can absorb or wick water and draw salts to it like a tree transports water from its roots to its leaves. This is capillary action. When efflorescence happens, it can indicate a moisture issue that could potentially damage the structure.
When water reaches a building material’s surface, evaporation will occur. Water absorption and wicking will continue after the water evaporates and the salt is left behind. This eventually creates a high salt concentration, leading to osmosis.
What is Osmosis
Simply put, osmosis in building materials is the movement of water from a region of low salt concentration to a region of high salt concentration in the material.
During osmosis, when water moves toward salts and minerals to reduce its concentration, it can cause large hydrostatic pressures within the porous building material. As a result, these pressures can damage or destroy the material.
Osmosis can cause pressure that ranges up to 200 bar, exceeding the structural strength of concrete. Therefore, osmosis may result in porous building material cracking, flaking or falling apart.
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Detecting Leaks Around Your Windows
Seals which are broken, pulling away, missing or which are damaged as a result of ageing or long-term weather exposure will cause windows and doors to leak. Furthermore, the sealant or window putty used to seal the glazing beads on wooden windows may crack and allow moisture into the gazed areas of your windows. In addition, when the glazing putty on your steel windows cracks or a section falls out moisture will corrode the steel window frame.
These are the most obvious areas where leakages occur!
However, the most undetected area for leaks at windows is the junction between the window frame and the brickwork, plasterwork and window sill. As a matter of fact, it is one of the most common defects that I have found on both new and older homes.
There are multiple ways to detect leaks around your windows and doors:
- On the outside of your home, check the areas where two different materials meet. This includes your door and window corners and frame.
- Look for cracks in the door itself and in window panes.
- Examine the existing caulking (sealing) and window weather stripping and weatherboards on doors. Make sure both are in good condition. In addition, leave no gaps or cracks.
- If you can see daylight around a window or door frame, there will be a leak.
- Shut a window and check for gaps in which you can insert the paint scraper. If you can easily insert the scraper under the closing part of the window, it is probably not watertight!
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How long does the geyser in your home last?
When you buy a new home have you ever thought about how long the geyser may last before you encounter problems? Probably not!
Your homeowner’s insurance may replace a burst geyser. However, be sure to check if you can claim the cost of repairs or if your home is unlivable due to water damage. Some policies allow you to claim for accommodation for the time it takes for your home to be habitable again.
Most geysers will not give you problems for ten years or more in new houses. Check with the seller how old the house is if you are buying a house. Also, check if the geyser has been replaced and when.
Most homeowners realize too late that they never checked if their insurance covers geyser replacement and water damage. Be sure to check your policy and ask your insurance agent. Continue reading “Life expectancy of geysers”