If you own a large house and are considering splitting it up into apartments, you may be able to rent these units and earn a decent profit on the house. Before you can do this, there will be several steps you will need to take, and you will probably need to hire a real estate lawyer for help.
Step 1: Find Out About Zoning
Zoning is something that is extremely important in real estate, and you cannot use a property for something it is not zoned for. If this house is zoned as a single-family house, you will not be able to turn it into apartments until you get the zoning on the property changed. A real estate lawyer can help you with this task, and it may involve going before the zoning committee in your city or county.
The zoning committee will either approve the request or deny it, and they may deny it if they feel that it is not a feasible idea. If you cannot get the zoning changed to multi-family housing, you will not be able to proceed with your plans.
Step 2: Get The Right Permits
In order to complete work like this on a house, you must get a building permit with your city or county. Most cities and counties have requirements for getting building permits, and these requirements can vary. For example, you may need to produce blueprints from an architect before you can get a building permit to do the work.
You may also need to prove that the updates will be up to current building codes. You can also expect to pay a fee for the building permit. In addition to getting this permit, you may also need to call your city or county during the project to set up inspections.
Your real estate lawyer can help you understand what types of permits you need, as well as all the other requirements you will need to meet during this project.
Step 3: Complete The Project
Once you have the legalities worked out, you will be able to begin the project. In order to turn a house into multiple apartments, you will need to make sure that each apartment has:
- A separate entrance
- A kitchen and bathroom
- Heating and plumbing
- Smoke detectors
Hiring a contractor to do the work will help you complete the project faster, and once it is done you will be able to rent out the units.
Step 4: Sign Leases
The final step in this process will also involve the help of a real estate lawyer. When you have apartments to rent out, you must find tenants for them. The goal of renting apartments is to make money, and the best way to do this is by finding good tenants. Good tenants will take care of the property they rent and will pay their rent on time. Your lawyer may be able to help you find ways to select tenants, and he or she will also help you:
- Run background checks – Your lawyer might be able to complete this process for you. A background check can be used to reveal a person's criminal history, creditworthiness, and work history. This is a great tool to use to screen applicants.
- Create a good lease – Your attorney can also help you create a lease that will protect you as the landlord.
As the years pass by, you may need help from your real estate lawyer from time to time, so you should choose one that you trust. To learn more about converting a house into a multi-family home, contact a real estate lawyer in your area. You can start by looking at websites of various real estate lawyers. Click here to check it out.