If it’s been your dream to become a Sims 4 property owner, now’s your time to shine! The Sims 4 For Rent just launched and in this expansion, players can live out their real estate mogul fantasies by purchasing multi-unit residential lots, renting them out to tenants, and maintaining their owned rentals when tenants contact them to report things going wrong.
Start your real estate empire in The Sims 4 For Rent!
But with a whole new game system that’s so different than what we’re used to in the Sims, it can be a little daunting knowing where to start to get your real estate ambitions off the ground. Don’t worry; once we’ve pointed you in the right direction, you’ll be well on your way to raking in those simoleons from your rental property investments as a Sims 4 property owner.
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How to Become a Sims 4 Property Owner
You’ll find that becoming a Sims 4 property owner isn’t as difficult or daunting as it seems at first, but you will have to put some effort into keeping your rentals in good working order and your tenants happy. Luckily, this can be done 100% remotely if you prefer a more passive source of income but for those who want to take a hands-on approach to property ownership, there is lots for you to do!
Buying a Residential Rental
Becoming a Sims 4 property owner starts with, you guessed it, purchasing a Residential Rental lot. You can click on any For Rent sign to do this. You can also purchase a Residential Rental lot through the Business menu in the bottom left bar in Live Mode. It’s at the very far left corner and the icon is a cash register.
There are Residential Rentals already set up for you in Tomarang, the new world that comes with For Rent, but you can purchase a Residential Rental in just about any world you want! Just remember that Residential Rentals can’t be built on Sulani waterfront lots, San Myshuno penthouse lots or vacation worlds. You can even purchase a regular Residential lot and easily turn it into a Residential Rental by changing its lot type in Build mode after you purchase it.
You can own multiple Residential Rentals. You can also live in one of your Residential Rentals alongside your tenants or reside elsewhere. This makes it easy to turn the home you already live in into a Residential Rental by changing its lot type in Build Mode if you want to split off a portion of your home into a unit to rent out. You can also buy a Residential Rental that you are already a tenant in as long as the building isn’t already owned by a playable Sim.
As you can see, buying a Residential Rental and setting it up the way you want is very easy, whether you want to live on-site or somewhere else, or whether you want to buy out a property you already rent a unit in or move into a Residential Rental you already own. All of that is possible in The Sims 4 For Rent.
Setting Up Units
If you have downloaded a Residential Rental off the Gallery, chances are, the builder has already split up the property into different units for you. All you have to do is rent them out. However, it’s easy to assign units yourself as a Sims 4 property owner.
Once a lot has been zoned as a Residential Rental, you can click on individual rooms within that lot to assign them to a unit. Click on a room and select Create Unit to create your first unit for the lot. Name your unit anything you like. Once you’ve created a unit, you can continue clicking on rooms to assign them as part of that unit. Take care when assigning units! You want to make sure your tenants can access all rooms in their unit so don’t assign a room in the middle of someone else’s unit to another unit unless there is a path into that room from the shared space.
Speaking of shared space, you can make any room in your Residential Rental shared space the exact same way as a Sims 4 property owner. Just click on a room and select Shared Space. Shared Spaces in a Residential Rental are areas that all your tenants can access. Having a nice shared space in your Residential Rental with lots of activities for your tenants to enjoy is a good idea. It’ll make your tenants happy and if you are living on the lot as well, it will give you more opportunities to interact with your neighbours. Sims in separate units will often leave their unit to use the objects in shared spaces.
And while we’re on the subject of living alongside your tenants, make sure you designate the unit your Sims 4 property owner is living in as the Home Unit. Otherwise, the game will act as if your unit belongs to a tenant and won’t allow you to edit it in Build Mode. Just click on your unit in the Build Mode menu and check the Home Unit box to easily sort that problem out.
Okay, so you have all your units laid out. What now? Well, it’s time to make them desirable for your tenants. Of course, most Sims 4 property owners don’t rent out fully furnished units (although you absolutely can if you want to), but usually, a rental unit at least comes with basic appliances, plumbing fixtures, and perhaps a few basic furnishings. You can rent out a completely bare unit without any of these things but you can bump up the rating of a unit and therefore charge more rent if you put some effort into making that unit a nice place to live.
When you click on a unit in the right-hand Build Mode menu, there’s a Suggestions tab. Open it to see what the game suggests you add to your unit to make it more desirable for tenants. You don’t have to listen to the suggestions at all but you’ll benefit in the form of more rent if you do.
The game will suggest the following items be placed in a unit. You only need to place one of each in a unit to satisfy the suggestion and improve a unit’s rating.
Just adding one of each of these objects to a unit can make a big difference in the rating and how much rent you can charge for that unit so we recommend putting at least one of each of these objects in every unit. But again, it’s up to you. You are not forced to put these objects in a unit and you aren’t punished for not doing so, either. There are just added benefits for your Sims 4 property owner if you do.
One last thing to note about customising rental units is that you can only edit unoccupied units. Once you’ve moved in tenants to that unit, it’s considered their private space and you can no longer make changes to it in Build Mode. Any maintenance you do for the tenants in their units as a Sims 4 property owner will be carried out in Live Mode through gameplay.
Units are automatically hidden in Build Mode and Live Mode once it’s occupied and can’t be unhidden. This means that you won’t be able to see anything inside the unit. However, it might be helpful to know that you can toggle unoccupied units as visible or hidden in Build Mode. This can help you keep track of which unit you’re editing a little better.
Alright! Your rental units are all ready to go! But they’re still vacant. Vacant units won’t bring in any income, so how does your Sims 4 property owner fill those vacancies? This is also very easy to do!
Once you own a Residential Rental, you’ll be able to see it in the businesses tab, along with all the units on that lot. Any vacant units will have a Fill Vacancy button next to them in this tab so just click on that to get started filling up your units.
If the unit is unoccupied, this will bring up the Tenant Agreement. Your Sims 4 property owner will need to set the rules that tenant needs to abide by while living in your rental. Tenant Agreements are set per unit, so you can have different rules and charge different rent for each unit.
At the top of the Tenant Agreement menu, you’ll see the rent you can charge and the length of the lease. The maximum rent you can charge for a unit depends on its star rating, which is determined by its size and how you’ve furnished it. However, most tenants are not willing to pay the highest rent possible on a unit so keep that in mind when balancing out the rent. You can also set the rent to 0 to allow Sims to live there for free. Not the most profitable plan but very useful for multi-generational homes where you don’t want to charge your relatives rent.
Next, your Sims 4 property owner needs to decide which rules they are going to enforce for a unit, if any.
- No Social Events: Hosting any type of Social Event will be strictly off-limits at this Residential Rental unit!
- No Loud Noises: Tenants will be prohibited from having TVs or stereos on between 10pm and 6am. Beware: Sims love to enjoy loud music or television, so this might make for an unpopular Property Owner.
- Maximum Occupancy: Two’s a crowd, three’s a party, and four Sims in one household violates the Maximum Occupancy rule.
- No Trash Overload: Tenants must maintain a tidy living space; clean appliances are a must, and accumulating trash or trash piles will not be tolerated.
- No Pets (Requires Cats & Dogs): This will prohibit tenants from having cats or dogs in their unit. That’s right: no fuzzy wuzzies allowed!
- No Ghosts: The afterlife is an afterthought here; no ghosts will be allowed to live in this Residential Rental unit.
Choose whichever rules you want to enforce. Enforce all of them, some of them, or none of them as you see fit. Once your Sims 4 property owner is happy with the Tenant Agreement, click the arrow in the bottom left of the menu to view tenant applications and select one to move in.
When viewing tenant applications, you will be able to see how many Sims are in the household and their age groups. Any cats and dogs in a household will show up here as well if you own the Cats & Dogs expansion. You’ll also be able to see how many beds they require and how much rent they are willing to pay. You can select a tenant who is not willing to pay the rent you are charging but be warned that your Sims 4 property owner might have an issue with them paying their rent on time.
Select the household that best suits your unit and voila! You now have tenants living in your Residential Rental who will (hopefully) pay daily rent. You’re well on your way to becoming a wealthy Sims 4 property owner!
Be a Good Property Owner
There’s a lot more to being a good Sims 4 property owner than just filling up units. Your tenants have needs and will expect their Sims 4 property owner to step in and help when things go wrong in their unit. Maintenance issues like water heater or AC malfunctions, mould infestations, and even hauntings are the Sims 4 property owner’s responsibility to take care of.
When a tenant contacts you about something that needs looking after in their unit, you can travel there to handle the issue yourself. This begins a timed event with goals that the Sims 4 Property Owner needs to complete in order to fix whatever has gone wrong in the unit and make the tenants happy.
Your Sims 4 property owner may need to clean up a mould outbreak, fix a broken water heater or air conditioning unit, or repair faulty electrical boxes in the unit. Your Sims 4 property owner will sometimes get called in to handle more unusual problems, too, such as a ghost haunting. Did you know your Sims 4 property owner duties included being a ghostbuster? Well, now you do!
No matter what problem has arisen at your Residential Rental, complete the goals to finish the event and get everything back in good working order.
If you’re a more hands-off kind of Sims 4 property owner and would rather let someone else handle the day-to-day business of maintaining your properties while you sit back and collect rent, that’s also completely doable. When you’re contacted to help with building maintenance, you also have the option to call a contractor to go and handle the problem for you. You can call a cheap contractor or an expensive one. A cheap contractor will save you money but they may or may not do a good job, leading to more frequent calls from upset tenants down the road. An expensive contractor is harder on the wallet but you won’t have to worry about the quality of the work.
Can you just ignore tenants when they ask you to fix something in their unit? Technically, yes, but you risk upsetting your tenants. If you keep ignoring them or treating them unfairly, you could end up with a tenant revolt on your hands where they will refuse to pay rent until you fix the problems in the building. Basically, it’s not to your benefit to mistreat your tenants.
While we’re on the subject of treating your tenants poorly, there are other things your Sims 4 property owner can do to upset their tenants, like unjustly evict them or change the tenant agreement in the middle of a lease. You can evict a tenant at any time, but if they haven’t broken any tenant rules and are up to date on their rent payments, it will be an unjust eviction. This can anger your other tenants and word will spread about what a cruel, heartless Sims 4 property owner you are. You may have trouble finding tenants who want to rent from you in the future due to your reputation for doing bad business.
While you can freely adjust the Tenant Agreement between lease periods without any trouble, doing so in the middle of a lease is bound to make your tenants angry with you, too. Again, make your tenants miserable and face tenants revolts which waste your time trying to quell and disrupt your income. So be nice to your tenants!
Want to learn more about the Sims 4 property owners and tenants already living in Tomarang? Check out our Meet the Residents article!