Having researched and followed applicable laws with regard to renting out your property, setting an appropriate rent and security deposit, making the home ready to rent to new residents and writing a stellar ad to get attention of those prospective residents; your phone and email should now be getting inquiries to visit the property.
Most new landlords in Washington DC think they will simply spend about half an hour to show their rental property. Even if you live within 100 yards of your rental home, this simply is not the case. Showing a rental property will require significant time for initial discussion on the phone, applicant paperwork, and driving to/from your property. As such, time management becomes key to find a quality and qualified renter for your home. A few things to keep in mind as you schedule your time and expenses for tax purposes are as follows per showing:
o Time spent on phone for initial discussion, plan to talk 15-20 minutes
o Drive to property, show tenant inside and outside, all features, 25-90 minutes
o Applicant will fill out paperwork, this varies greatly; anywhere from 15 minutes to 3 days or longer
o Car mileage: 57.5 cents per mile. If property ten miles away, then total mileage deduction would be $11.50 per each time driven
o Car gas – About one gallon per visit – about $2.50 per gallon
o Each showing will require 1.5 hours, $11 of wear & tear on car, and $2.50 in gas
Another trap many new landlords fall into is showing the property once and taking the first applicant with money in hand. However, it takes on average 7 to 15 showings to find a quality and qualified applicant. Based on the above numbers per showing, performing 7 to 15 showings will burn approximately 10-20 hours of your time, $80-$230 for wear and tear on your car, and $17 to $37 in gas.
The above information should give you a solid idea as to the time and costs required for showing your property so that you can plan accordingly.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.