Name – Ted
Age – 64
Location – Sydney, Australia
Full-Time Landlord – 8 years
Properties – one 2-bedroom unit in North Greenwich
What are your very first steps before letting out a room or property?
Choose an agent and create list of action items with the agent to be completed before rental.
What kind of costs can you typically expect to incur when renting a property?
- Finance – organising finance as necessary or switching to a buy-to-let mortgage
- Cost of obtaining necessary certificates e.g. gas & electrical safety checks and energy certificate. These are compulsory prior to rental.
- Management fees – agent fees to rent the property and then agent fees to manage the property.
- Repairs and maintenance costs to bring the property up to standard and then ongoing R&M throughout the tenancy.
- Service charges.
How do you find the best way to manage repairs and maintenance?
- As we live in Australia, we are very dependent on the real estate agent and generally go with their guidance. The agent will quote us the cost and then we give the OK to proceed.
- If it is an exceptional large item, we have had a video call with the agent so that we can actually see what the issue is.
What do you do if the tenant doesn’t pay?
- We rely heavily on the real estate agent screening potential tenants to prevent this sort of issue.
- The real estate agent is responsible for following up unpaid rent.
- We give some leeway for late payment, especially in the current environment. However, if the tenant falls too far behind, then this would be a breach of the tenancy agreement and we would look to ending the tenancy agreement in order to be able to look for new tenants.
- We tend to take landlord insurance but that will only kick in after 6 months on non-payment.
Any advice for aspiring landlords?
- Manage your cash-flows closely.
- The set-up costs are always higher than you think.
- Common to have a void in between tenancies. Be careful not to be too stubborn on the level of rent as you will very rarely recover the rent for a large void
- Manage your tax – especially with the changes related to claimable Finance Costs.