Get an insurance policy that not only protects your property from large scale damage, but also protects you from a civil litigation in case your tenant gets injured on your property
A written rental contract spelling out the rent amount, duration of agreement, payment of utilities and other important aspects will be beneficial to both, you and your tenant.
A fixed security deposit paid by the tenant gives you leverage in case the tenant refuses to repair any damages as per rental agreement. In California, at the end of the leasing term, you will be given 21 days to scrutinize the property before you return the deposit.
Document the condition of your house in detail using a video camera, photographs and a witness before the tenant moves in.
Provide a 24 hours prior notice and conduct a walk through on your property to make sure everything is in place.