Managing your investment property
Buying your investment property is just the beginning - remember, it’s a long-term commitment to building your wealth and financial security. Effectively managing and protecting your investment will ensure it keeps delivering the returns you expected when you first took out a home loan.
Tenants, pests and maintenance
Maximising your rental income is more easily achieved by holding on to consistent, reliable tenants rather than undertaking expensive renovations or by pricing the rent at the top of the market.
For a fee, a real estate agent should manage the process and look after your property for you. The agent will perform tenant screenings and present you with recommendations.
If you're going to manage your own property, make sure all prospective tenants have references. References from previous real estate agents are essential, although first time renters will have to rely on character references and other relevant information.
Treat your tenants fairly, and they’re more likely to treat you the same way.
Any residential property should be 'fit to live in'. This is a legal requirement and you, as a landlord, should organise for any urgent repairs to be fixed as soon as possible. After being notified of the fault or damage, a qualified tradesperson must carry out all repairs.
If you’re planning renovations or making repairs to your rental property and you need a little extra cash, you can access further funds by increasing your existing loan. Remember, renovations are a great way to increase the value of your property and it may be possible to depreciate these improvements over a number of years.
On the topic of maintenance, it’s also good to keep records of all your tax-deductible items like maintenance costs, insurance and strata fees. Visit the Australian Taxation Office website for more details on which items you can claim on.
Termites can be a major problem, attacking timber in a property. A professional pest inspection company will advise you how often an inspection is needed, but it’s normally required every two years. If you have a lot of trees near your property, an annual inspection might be best.
Watch the market
Regularly check the rental market in your area to ensure the rent you’re charging isn’t too high or too low and is consistent with demand.
Seek professional advice, e.g. your accountant or lawyer, to work out the best way to earn income from and protect your property. Or, contact us to arrange a time to talk with one of our experienced lenders about your investment property and how we can help realise your goals.
Protecting your wealth
To protect your investment property and the income it generates, we’ve created a dedicated insurance product for landlords, our Investment Home Package, which features Total Building Replacement Cover and Rental Income Insurance.