If you’re thinking of getting into the rental property market as an investor this year, there’s no better time to do it. The recent analysis forecasts that there will be a sky-high increase in residential property rents for this year given the extreme shortage in accommodation that the country is facing. Even before the pandemic hit, Australia was seeing an undersupply in housing, and the numbers have not got any better.
These findings have belied the fear that immigration restrictions due to COVID-19 would cause the property market to plummet. With 25.6 million people in the country, investors have a serious opportunity to focus on rentals right now. We’ll look at some rental property tips, so you’re confident by the time your tenant moves in.
While shortages in accomodation are relative based on location, the country’s major cities are showing rental yields between 3.3% and 5.8%. These returns are enough that some property owners are considering renting out their own properties.
Here’s what you need to know.
Property owners have some degree of leeway when it comes to how much they charge for rent. While you are restricted by your target renter’s income bracket for the neighborhood, you can increase your price point a little more for valued amenities such as a good parking area, an outdoor area, good kitchen space, bathroom, walk-in closets, and many more.
Owners also need to look at local laws for tenancies. In New South Wales, you can increase rent at any time, as long as you give 60 days’ notice. In the Northern Territory, you can do the same, except you only have to give 30 days’ notice. In Western Australia, you can increase the rent every 6 months with 60 days’ notice.
Australian property owners are responsible for maintenance, so it’s important to have a property that’s built to take a little wear and tear. Home inspections, seasonal prep, and general upkeep can go a long way toward warding off problems before they start. There is some tenant responsibility, but for the most part, you will be called if there are any issues.
Ultimately, this can refer to anything from your plumbing to the condition of the fixtures. You also have to keep in mind what you’ll do if the tenant causes major damages. You can certainly use the money from the bond the tenant paid to secure the property, but this may only cover so much in the case of professional repairs, and landlord insurance is recommended to ensure you’re prepared for the worst-case scenarios.
Renters have a variety of priorities before they decide where to move to. Some want gourmet kitchens and top-of-the-range appliances. Others want pet-friendly properties so they don’t have to worry about giving up their best friend.
In a practical sense, this might mean replacing your countertops or installing scratch-resistant floors. Both will appeal to renters and help you protect your investment. You can also look at what other people are charging and which properties seem to be the most popular.
Landlord insurance ultimately protects you from many of the risks associated with renting. And unfortunately, there can be quite a few risks to consider such as having to deal with theft, vandalism, and many other damages when it comes to the people you rent to and how the tenant’s guests may act.
Without landlord insurance, you’re liable to pay for it all. Thorough screening can certainly cut down on the odds of anything serious occurring, but the odds may still be higher than you think and accidents do happen. If the economy should stumble, you’ll need to know how many shares of rent you can cover on your own. If a tenant is injured on your property, you’ll need to know if you can pay for litigation procedures. Most landlords simply can’t, which is why it’s generally too risky to skip this insurance.
Both you and your tenant are required to conduct an ingoing report. You’ll both tour the property and record its original condition, though most of the time your managing agent will carry out your inspection on your behalf. Take photos to ensure that there’s no deception on the part of the tenant. Certain states or territories will have recommended inspection report formats, giving you a handy checklist. The cleaner your home is during the time of the walk-through, the easier it will be to document its current state. A property manager can be invaluable at this stage, ensuring that each inch is picture-perfect. In addition, taking this step will increase the odds that the tenant will return it in the same condition.
Getting your property ready essentially means leaving no stone unturned. The more you factor in all the details, the less likely it is that you’ll run into major problems. So while a disgruntled tenant might cause you some grief, it ultimately won’t cause you to lose the property or your savings if you’ve prepared with landlord insurance.
If you have questions about the Sydney property market, Shore Financial is here to be of service. We have property management specialists that can help you discern what your tenant is looking for and how you can meet their needs. Call us today if you want to give yourself the best chance of success.