Managing your rental property
Using an agent
Property owners (landlords) can employ a real estate agent (property manager) to:
- advertise the property
- find suitable tenants
- manage the paperwork - eg lease agreements, inspection sheets
- manage the tenancy on a day-to-day basis
- deal with any problems - eg noise problems, unpaid rent, repairs
- conduct regular inspections at the property
- manage any money received from tenants - eg bond, rent, water charges.
Agents may automatically organise for maintenance and repairs if they cost up to a certain amount. For repairs costing more than the set amount the agent must get direction from the property owner.
Property owner managing the rental property
You should be aware of your legal rights and responsibilities under the Residential Tenancies Act 1995.
If the property has been declared substandard it may be subject to a rent limit set by the Housing Safety Authority. You can't charge the tenant more than the set rent limit.
You can't ask prospective tenants for money to view a property.
Application form questions for tenants
Property owners may develop and ask prospective tenants to complete an application form. These usually include information about:
- their identity
- contact information
- probable occupants - eg partner, children
- their income
- previous rental details
- references from previous landlords
- why they are moving
- how long they plan to rent with you.
You can ask for proof of income and identity, and copies of written references.
If you have been refused to be considered for a property and you believe that you may have been discriminated against, you should consider contacting the Equal Opportunity Commission.
Good questions to ask a previous landlord include:
- was the tenant in any rent arrears
- did they keep the property reasonably clean
- did they do any damage to the property
- were there problems with noise or disputes with neighbours
- would they rent to the tenant again?
Some people may not have a rental history but may have references from people who have either known them professionally or personally. They can give you an idea if they would be suitable tenants.
Once you have found a suitable tenant you can start to organise the lease agreement and other necessary paperwork. You can ask for the bond and rent in advance.
Advice, support and education
Enrol in a free two-hour information session held by CBS. These sessions provide details of the rights and obligations for property owners, agents and tenants.
Subscribe online or download CBS newsletters. These are regularly updated with information about changes to legislation and advice for property owners.
For information and advice on being a property owner and other matters related to residential tenancies contact CBS.
It is recommended that you take out appropriate insurance to cover the building. Many insurance companies offer packages specifically for landlords. This can cover you for:
- property damage
- damage to any contents you provide - eg oven
- theft from a tenant
- non-payment of rent.
Taxation for rental properties
When you rent out your property there are taxation laws that control how rent and other rental related income is to be treated eg which expenses are tax deductible.
The Australian Taxation Office has detailed information on their website about how to treat rental income and expenses to assist you.