Are you charging enough rent??
For many landlords, this is a difficult question. On the one hand you want to maximize the profit from your investment. On the other hand you don't want to price yourself out of the market and risk your property from going unrented for a long period of time.
Rents differ from city to city and in some areas, from block to block! The general rule for determining rent is to evaluate what other landlords are charging in the area and match that amount. If your property offers more features, or a greater amount of square footage, you can raise your rent over that amount accordingly. If your property has less features or perhaps an inferior location, you can't expect to collect the same amount of rent.
Well how do I find out what other landlords are charging? There are a number of ways. Look in newspapers, ask current or prospective tenants what they have paid in the past or check the on-line listings on this site to see what others are charging. If you decide to ask your neighbors, be prepared for them to ask you what you rent for. Once you have collected enough information you can analyze how much you should charge.
If you are renting a house, you could determine a value based on the number of rooms or the number of tenants that will occupy the house. If the average 1 bedroom apartment goes for $300 per month, you can use this as a basis for each room or tenant in your house. When using this method, make sure you consider the availablilty of housing in your area. If there are a lot of people looking for housing you can charge more for each room or tenant.
Another important thing to consider is that rents in the entire area may be too high or too low. One way to determine this is to complete a cost analysis based on the value of your property. The way it works is that you maintain your rent in-line with the value of your property. So as the value of your property rises, so should the rent you charge.
When deciding how much to charge, you should keep in mind all of these factors and choose an amount that would meet the criteria of all the methods. Don't short change yourself and rent for less than you could get. If you offer a quality property in a good location, you should be able to find tenants who will pay the rent you want.