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The Big Trip: How To Rent Out Your Home

Travelling around Australia requires money! If you own a home, renting it out is a great way to pay your mortgage while you are gone or to earn some extra cash for your adventures.

Here are three things we did before renting out our home that we think are worth doing.

1. Make any necessary repairs

Even though we spent all of 2013 renovating, we still had a broken intercom and unfinished grouting. Fix anything that is broken, and consider doing small things that will help add value to your home for next to nothing, like giving the house a fresh lick of paint.

2. Choose a trusted property manager

Talk to as many people as you can before you choose a property manager. Ask friends and family who have either leased their homes, or who have been tenants, which property managers they recommend – and which ones they suggest steering clear of.

Make sure you meet with at least three property managers before you make a decision, and ask questions such as:

  • What is the full cost of management? Be prepared to pay management, letting, administration and marketing fees. Ask the manager to detail all possible costs, and confirm if their fees include GST. Remember that fees are always negotiable, so don’t be afraid to ask for a discount.
  • What happens if my property needs urgent maintenance? You want your manager to be able to effectively deal with repairs without bugging you unnecessarily, so make sure you’re comfortable with their processes.
  • What is your estimate of the weekly rental potential? You need to know if this will cover your mortgage or fund any extra spending while you’re away. Researching other properties will help you get a good understanding of what your home is worth.

3. Put your personal items in storage

We were lucky enough to have family who could store our belongings, but if you don’t know someone with an extra shed there are plenty of companies who rent space by the month.

Tip: If you’re not leaving for your trip straight away, make an extra effort to keep all of your travel gear out of storage. You want to avoid fossicking around boxes trying to find your head torches or hiking boots! (We’re talking from experience here.)

Once your house is rented out, you’re a step closer to your trip!

Drew and Court are a Melbourne couple who are travelling around Australia for the next 10 months. They’ll be writing about their experiences for Without a Hitch, giving us the real story of life on the road.

Make sure you sign up to the Without A Hitch newsletter to keep up to date with Drew & Court on their travels or join the conversation on the Without A Hitch Facebook Page.

In their next article, Drew & Court will explain how they went about budgeting for their trip.

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