Renting the family home!
You probably never dreamt that the home you saved, sacrificed, slaved to buy, would one day be the home you need to rent out. But it happens!
Things change, life changes and the next thing you know, you are moving out of your family home. Selling isn’t an option, as one day you’ll return.
Just because your home was great for you doesn’t mean it is automatically tenant ready!
Here’s three tips to help you get your home ready for tenants.
Tip 1: Depersonalise it
Remove all trace of your existence in the home. This may include:
• replacing or repairing doors where the dog has scratched at night
• removing stickers and blue tack off wardrobe doors (thanks kids!)
• taking down the helicopter light fixture in bedroom 2
• replacing or repainting door frames recording the height of your two children
• removing the fairy garden and your collection of gnomes scattered around the backyard.
Anything you leave behind will remind tenants that it’s your home and may intrude on their way of living or style of decoration.
Tip 2: Store it
What to do with your furniture?
• Take it
• Store it
• Leave it
If it’s valuable, you should remove it! If you need it for your new home, you should take it! If leaving it is going to cause you anxiety, you should take it! And if it includes family heirlooms, take it!
You may decide to take the good furniture and leave the old, worn furniture for the tenants! Well, they, the tenants, may not want your handy downs! You may find this furniture ends up in the garage/carport/under the house. It could get damaged. The tenant could even say your furniture is taking up space they want to use and bargain down the rent to store it for you. If you don’t need it, and you don’t want to leave it then consider storing your furniture.
Is the property difficult to access? You know that property with stairs to the front door, then stairs inside to the first floor, and stairs to the backyard. Yes, then consider leaving at least the bulky furniture. Also consider the safety risks of moving furniture in and out for tenants. It may be easier to just leave the furniture.
Tenants who don’t have furniture, will want everything furnished. Depending on the type of tenant suitable for your rental property, you will need to decide if it’s easier to take your furniture, store it or leave it.
Tip 3: Repair it
Tick off those repairs you have put off for years. Residential tenancy, safety, swimming pool and fire laws require you, the landlord of a rental property, to ensure your home is fit for habitation, clean, safe and secure.
• replacing the broken shower door seal
• repairing the leaking laundry tap
• replacing the broken sliding door lock
• fixing the broken power point that no one uses because it triggers the safety switch
• replacing the batteries in the smoke alarm
• getting the broken pool fence fixed and certified
• calling the pest inspectors and getting that long overdue termite inspection
• replacing that broken tile near the front door
Don’t forget to seek advice from your taxation agent or the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) concerning any allowable claims for repairs made to your rental home.