The competition for available rental properties remains fierce as vacancies remain at low levels but despite the tight market, majority of Australian renters feel like they have a good relationship with their landlords.

A study commissioned by Aus Property Professionals showed that 75% of renters claimed that they have never had a bad experience with a landlord or a rental provider.

Aus Property Professionals director Lloyd Edge said the results of the study challenges the misconception that landlords are greedy and are trying to take advantage of their tenants.

“Contrary to popular belief, the majority of landlords are not big corporations or wealthy investors — they are most of the time just ordinary people, usually mum and dad investors, who are trying to build a better future for themselves and their families,” he said.

“Many of these landlords are conscientious and caring, and they want to do the right thing by their tenants.”

However, the study pointed out that some renters do have some issues with their landlords.

Around 30% of younger renters aged 18 to 29 reported they have had a bad experience with a rental provider in the past, lower than the 17% of those aged 55 and over.

In terms of location, Queensland had the highest incidence of renters reporting a bad experience at 32%. In New South Wales, only 23% of renters had a negative experience with their landlord.  

ACT and Northern Territory recorded little to no incidence of tenants having a bad experience with their landlord.

Tips for first-time landlords

Mr Edge said some landlords may not have the knowledge or expertise to navigate the complex rental market on their own, which could lead to some tenants having a bad experience.

“That's why landlords often rely on property managers to help them with the day-to-day management of their investment properties, including setting rental rates,” he said.

“It’s the advice of property managers, combined with the increased demand and lack of supply in the market that keeps pushing prices up.”

For first-time landlords, Mr Edge shared the following tips for managing their rental properties:

Hire a property manager

Mr Edge said getting a property manager will tremendously help with the process of managing and growing an investor’s portfolio.

“A property manager can advertise your property, interview, and run background checks on prospective tenants, conduct regular inspections, pay bills, and take care of any repairs or maintenance issues,” he said.

“Hiring a property manager means you can focus on other things while you know that your property is being well looked after by someone who has experience in this field.”

Consider additional costs

When investing in property, first-timers must ensure that they factor in additional costs on top of the home loan deposit.

These costs include water rates, strata fees, council rates, property taxes, and property management fees that come with an investment property.

“Make sure you do your due diligence beforehand to find out what these numbers might be, and then factor them into your budget,” Mr Edge said.

Keep a cash buffer for repairs

Landlords must ensure that they have enough fund to cover the maintenance and emergency repairs of their investment property.

“As a rental provider and the owner of the property, it’s your responsibility to maintain the property in a reasonable condition for your tenant,” Mr Edge said.

“From time to time, household items and appliances may need to be repaired or replaced due to general wear and tear.”

Acquire a depreciation report

Mr Edge also mentioned the importance of knowing how an investment property can help landlords with their taxes.

“Although I would never advise someone to buy property just for tax benefits, if you have an investment property it’s possible to claim depreciation for up to 40 years since it was built,” he said.

“First, make sure you find out how old your property is, and then enlist a quantity surveyor to create a depreciation report for you.”

Charge rent at market rate

When deciding how much rent to charge, landlords must rely on reputable sources to know the current market rate.

“If you’re unsure of the rent you should be charging your tenants, do some research and see what similar properties are renting for,” Mr Edge said.

“This will help you to come up with a realistic price.”


Photo by JackF on Canva.