How to Rent Out Your House
A guide to setting up a rental property.
Whether you’re a first-timer or just need a bit of a refresh, navigating the world of investment property can be tricky. We’ve explored some of the common questions you may have if you’re planning on setting up a rental property.
What additional costs should I consider?
Don’t forget to account for fees and other costs that may not be upfront when you’re considering an investment property. Other costs to consider include:
- Council rates
- Water rates
- Land tax
- Repairs and maintenance
- Interest and bank fees on your mortgage
- Strata fees (if it’s an apartment)
- Between tenant costs (if you can’t transition immediately between tenants)
Should I self-manage the property, or hire a professional?
You’ll need to consider how much time you can dedicate to managing the property.
Some of the tasks you’ll need to manage are:
- Maintenance and repairs
- Screening tenants
- Routine property inspections
- Tenant’s payments
- Handling complaints
- End-of-lease condition reports
- Tenancy agreements
If you live far away, or simply don’t have time for the ongoing management of the property and tenants, you could appoint a property manager instead. It’s up to you as to whether the convenience of a professional balances with their cost.
What type of tenants do I want?
Suburb demographics will play a major part in who is interested in renting out your property – download a free suburb report to look at who you should be targeting.
It’s important that you screen all applicants and perform reference checks to ensure that you’re getting a reliable tenant to look after your investment proper screening is a key step to finding the right tenants and it typically involves reference checks from previous property managers and employers.
Should I get landlord’s insurance?
It’s up to you - we've compiled the pros and cons of landlord's insurance. But you do need to consider what you would do in the event of an emergency – how would you pay for repairs, clean up, and lost rental income? What would you do if your property became uninhabitable?
Acts of nature, building repairs, contents and loss of rental income are all things to think about. You can read about insurance options through Gateway here.
Am I eligible for tax deductions?
Knowing your tax deductable expenses is crucial. Some of the things included are:
- Real estate management fees
- Council rates
See all the things you can claim for on the ATO website – remember to keep all the relevant receipts for when it comes time to do your tax return.
Do I have any legal obligations as a landlord?
Yes. Landlords have a legal duty to guarantee the safety of rented property and its contents. You must ensure that no injury or damage is caused to the tenants, neighbours or the public as a direct result of neglecting your responsibilities, including:
- Maintaining the structure of the house
- Ensuring all installations are working and safe, such as gas, electricity and heating
- Treating potentially health-threatening issues such as dampness
- Adhering to anything stipulated in the tenancy agreement
For further details, check in with your local government Residential Tenancy Act:
New South Wales
- Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (NSW)
- Residential Tenancies Regulation 2010 (NSW)
- Boarding Houses Act 2012 (NSW)
- Boarding Houses Regulation 2013 (NSW)
- Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (VIC)
- Residential Tenancies Regulations 2008 (VIC)
- Residential Tenancies (Rooming House Standards) Regulations 2012 (VIC)
- Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (QLD)
- Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Regulation 2009 (QLD)
Australian Capital Territory
- Residential Tenancy Act 1997 (TAS)
- Residential Tenancy Regulations 2005 (TAS)
- Residential Tenancy (Smoke Alarms) Regulations 2012 (TAS)
Please note: Information provided is accurate at the time of publication. For more information, contact your local government.