If you own a home in Italy and you’re starting to feel the effects of the credit crunch and want to make your asset pay for itself, renting out your Italian property can be a practical way to reap some financial rewards for having a lovely place in the sun!

If you’re in the planning and preparation stages, these 10 tips for renting out your Italian property will help ensure that you get everything right from the outset and know in advance what you’re letting yourself in for.

You can get the highest weekly rental rate if you target the holiday market of course, but then you do have to prepare yourself for periods of the year when the home is empty.  So, think carefully about whether you want to give up use of your home altogether and rent long-term, or you want to still have benefit of the asset for at least part of the year and make some money in the interim from some holidaymaker traffic.

1) Think about employing someone to make sure the gardens and the pool are well kept and immaculate if you have a holiday villa.  This is what’s expected by holidaymakers so factor in this extra cost for employing someone to keep on top of maintenance.

2) Bathrooms and kitchens will be well scrutinised but also well used, so make sure they are clean, pristine, up to date and in the case of the kitchen, well stocked with inexpensive and easy to replace cutlery, crockery and glassware.

3) If your property is suitable for families, most now expect there to be a washing machine – and a dishwasher is a nice to have accessory too.  After all, who wants to go on holiday to beautiful Italy and spend any of their time washing up?

4) When thinking about the furnishings of your home, remove anything that if personally important and precious to you and lock it away in between your visits to the home.  Guests will not have the same sentimentality towards your personal effects and so when inevitably some things get damaged through wear and tear, make sure they are not things that are precious to you.

5) If you’re going to be adding any furniture to the property for your tenants don’t think that buying cheap is a good idea – it’s false economy.  Buy strong, solid and robust everything!

6) Think about the amount of furniture you have in the property and the number of guests you may well get staying – you have to make sure there are enough comfortable chairs, dining chairs, beds and sun loungers for everyone at all times!

7) Spend a little extra on strong, firm yet comfortable mattresses – not only will they last a lot longer, your guests will have a comfortable stay and be more likely to return or recommend your property.  A good nights sleep makes a big difference.

8) Think about the fact that people coming to stay in the property are specifically coming because they want to be in Italy.  So, even if your home is modern, add some traditional Italian touches, perhaps some nice photographs of the countryside on the wall and make sure there are loads and loads of brochures and maps left in the property detailing everything there is to do and see in the vicinity.

9) Throw a welcome pack in for each visitor; supply basic essentials together with some details of nearby shops and good restaurants.  Adding a bottle of the local vino will go a million miles to ensuring repeat visitors!

10) Get all your insurances in place to cover the fact that you will be letting the home to strangers…also, get health and safety checks done and ensure your property passes.  Finally, if you have a pool, make the extra investment and fence it off – there is no way you could live with yourself if a family stayed at your property and a child fell into an unsupervised and unprotected pool.