How To Become A Landlord In Australia

Owning a rental property can be a great way to generate passive income and build wealth. However, before you can start collecting rent, you need to become a landlord. This involves a number of steps, including:

  • Finding the right property.
  • Understanding the legal and financial aspects of being a landlord.
  • Screening tenants.
  • Managing your rental property.

This guide will walk you through each of these steps and more, so you can become a successful landlord. 

Why Should You Become a Landlord?

There are many reasons why someone might want to become a landlord. Some people are drawn to the idea of generating passive income, while others are interested in building wealth. Still others enjoy the sense of control that comes with owning a rental property. Whatever the reason, becoming a landlord can be a rewarding experience.

Here are some of the most common reasons why people become landlords:

  • Passive income: Rental properties can generate passive income, which means you can collect rent without having to work for it. This can be a great way to supplement your retirement income or create a nest egg for the future.
  • Building wealth: Over time, the value of your rental property is likely to appreciate. This means that you can build wealth by owning a rental property.
  • Tax benefits: There are a number of tax benefits associated with owning rental property. For example, you can deduct expenses related to your rental property, such as mortgage interest, property taxes, and repairs.
  • Flexibility: Being a landlord can give you a lot of flexibility. You can choose to manage your rental property yourself or hire a property manager. You can also choose to rent out your property full-time or part-time.
  • Control over your investment: When you own a rental property, you have control over how it is managed and who lives there. This can be a great way to ensure that your investment is well-maintained and that your tenants are respectful of your property.
  • Sense of satisfaction: Some people find it satisfying to provide housing for others and to help them build a better life. Being a landlord can be a rewarding experience, both financially and personally.

Get a free Australian mortgage assessment today.

Apply online to get a free recommendation with real rates and repayments.

The Challenges of Being a Landlord

Being a landlord can be a rewarding experience, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges. Here are some of the most common challenges that landlords face:

  • Tenant problems: Not all tenants are good tenants. Some tenants may not pay their rent on time, damage your property, or be disruptive neighbours. This can be a major headache for landlords, and it can be difficult to get rid of problem tenants. 
  • Legal issues: There are a number of laws and regulations that govern landlord-tenant relationships. You need to be familiar with these laws in order to protect yourself and your tenants. If you don’t understand the laws, you could end up in a legal dispute with a tenant. 
  • Time commitment: Being a landlord can be a time-consuming endeavour. You may need to be available to show the property to potential tenants, handle repairs and maintenance, and resolve disputes. If you don’t have the time to commit to being a landlord, it may not be the right investment for you. 
  • Financial risk: There is always the risk that you will not be able to collect rent from your tenants, or that they will damage your property. This could put you in a financial bind, so it’s important to be prepared for these risks before you become a landlord. 

Now that you know about the pros and cons of being a landlord, let’s dive deeper into these 8 things you need to know before becoming a landlord. Here is a first-time landlord checklist to help you get started:

1. Researching Your Legal Responsibilities as a Landlords in Australia

As a landlord in Australia, you have a number of legal responsibilities. It’s important to be familiar with these responsibilities so that you can avoid legal problems.

Here are some of the most important legal responsibilities that landlords have in Australia:

  • Comply with the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (RTA): The RTA is the primary piece of legislation that governs landlord-tenant relationships in Australia. It’s important to familiarise yourself with the RTA so that you know your rights and responsibilities as a landlord.
  • Not discriminate against tenants: The Equal Opportunity Act 1984 prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, colour, religion, sex, marital status, family status, disability, sexual orientation, or age. You need to make sure that you are not discriminating against any potential tenants based on these protected classes.
  • Have a clear and concise lease agreement: A lease agreement is a legally binding contract between you and your tenant. It outlines the terms of the rental, such as the rent amount, the length of the lease, and the rules and regulations of the property. It’s important to have a clear and concise lease agreement that is in compliance with the RTA.
  • Keep records: As a landlord, you are required to keep certain records, such as the tenant’s rental history, the lease agreement, and records of any repairs or maintenance that you have made to the property. It’s important to keep these records in a safe and organised manner.

2. Finding the Right Property

Finding the right investment property is one of the most important steps in becoming a landlord. The property you choose will have a big impact on your success as a landlord, so it’s important to take your time and find the right fit.

Here are some factors to consider when finding the right property:

  • Location: The location of the property is important for both you and your tenants. You’ll want to find a property in a desirable area that is close to amenities and transportation. Tenants will want to be in a safe and convenient location.
  • Condition: The condition of the property is important for both you and your tenants. You’ll want to find a property that is in good condition and that doesn’t need a lot of repairs. Tenants will want a property that is clean and well-maintained.
  • Size: The size of the property is important for both you and your tenants. You’ll need to decide how many bedrooms and bathrooms you need, as well as the square footage of the property. Tenants will want a property that is big enough for their needs.
  • Rent: The rent you charge will depend on the location, condition, and size of the property. You’ll need to do some research to see what other similar properties in the area are renting for.
  • Other factors: Other factors to consider include the property’s zoning, whether it allows pets, and whether it has any amenities, such as a pool or laundry facilities.

Once you’ve considered all of these factors, you can start your search for the right property. There are a number of websites and resources that can help you find rental properties.

Start your search early and be prepared to act fast if you find a property that you like. This will give you more time to find the right property and negotiate a good price. 

Be flexible with your criteria, as you may not be able to find a property that meets all of your needs. 

If you’re not sure where to start or how to find the right property, you can get professional help from a real estate agent or property manager. They will have experience in the market and can help you find the right property for your needs.

3. Self-Manage or Hire a Property Manager?

Once you’ve found the right property, you need to decide whether you’re going to self-manage or hire a property manager. There are pros and cons to both options, so it’s important to weigh them carefully before making a decision.

Self-managing your rental property means that you will be responsible for all of the day-to-day tasks, such as finding tenants, collecting rent, and handling repairs and maintenance. This can be a lot of work, but it can also be rewarding. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you can save money by self-managing your property.

Hiring a property manager means that you will hire a professional company to manage your property for you. This will free up your time so you can focus on other things, but it will also cost you money. Property managers typically charge a percentage of the rent as their fee.

Here are some factors to consider when deciding whether to self-manage or hire a property manager:

  • Your time commitment: If you have a lot of free time and are willing to do the work, self-managing may be a good option for you. However, if you’re short on time or don’t want to deal with the day-to-day tasks, hiring a property manager may be a better option.
  • Your experience: If you have no experience as a landlord, hiring a property manager may be a good idea. They will have the experience and knowledge to help you manage your property effectively. However, if you have experience as a landlord, you may be able to self-manage your property successfully.
  • Your budget: Hiring a property manager can be expensive. If you’re on a tight budget, self-managing may be the best option for you. However, if you can afford it, hiring a property manager can save you time and hassle.

Benefits of Hiring a Property Manager

Here are some of the benefits of hiring a property manager to manage your rental property::

  • They have experience screening tenants: Property managers have experience screening tenants and they know what to look for. They will be able to identify potential problems and avoid bad tenants.
  • They can save you time: Property managers can handle the entire screening process for you, so you don’t have to do it yourself. This can save you a lot of time and hassle.
  • They can help you comply with landlord-tenant laws: Property managers are familiar with the landlord-tenant laws in your area and they can help you make sure that you’re following the law.
  • They can provide you with peace of mind: Knowing that a professional is handling the tenant screening process can give you peace of mind.

If you’re considering hiring a property manager, be sure to ask about their tenant screening process. You should also get references from other landlords who have used the property manager’s services.

4. Screening Tenants

Screening tenants is an important part of being a landlord. It helps you to avoid problems with bad tenants and to find good tenants who will take care of your property. There are a number of factors to consider when screening tenants, including:

  • Credit history: A good credit history is a good indicator that a tenant will be able to pay the rent on time.
  • Rental history: A good rental history is a good indicator that a tenant has been a responsible tenant in the past.
  • Income: The tenant’s income should be enough to cover the rent and other expenses.
  • References: References from previous landlords can provide you with a good idea of what kind of tenant the applicant is.
  • Personal interview: A personal interview can help you to get to know the applicant and to assess their personality.

There are a number of ways to screen tenants. You can do a credit check, a rental history check, and get references. You can also conduct a personal interview.

It’s important to be thorough when screening tenants. The more information you have about the applicant, the better equipped you will be to make a decision about whether or not to rent to them.

Tips for Screening Tenants

Here are some tips for screening tenants:

  • Be clear about your screening criteria: Before you start screening tenants, it’s important to be clear about what you’re looking for in a tenant. This will help you to focus your screening efforts and to make better decisions.
  • Use a variety of screening methods: Don’t rely on just one screening method. Use a variety of methods to get a complete picture of the applicant.
  • Be thorough: Don’t rush through the screening process. Take the time to gather all of the information you need to make a good decision.
  • Trust your gut: Sometimes, you just have a feeling about someone. If you have a bad feeling about an applicant, don’t ignore it.

Screening tenants can be a time-consuming process, but it’s worth it in the long run.

How a Property Manager Helps Screen Tenants

A property manager can help screen tenants in a number of ways, including:

  • Reviewing rental applications: Property managers will review rental applications to see if the applicant meets your criteria. They will look at the applicant’s income, rental history, and credit score.
  • Conducting background checks: Property managers can conduct background checks on applicants to see if they have any criminal history or evictions.
  • Verifying employment: Property managers can verify the applicant’s employment to make sure they have a steady income.
  • Scheduling interviews: Property managers can schedule interviews with applicants so you can get to know them better.
  • Making a decision: Property managers will make a decision about whether to rent to the applicant based on all of the information they have gathered.

Hiring a property manager to screen tenants can save you time and hassle. They will take care of the entire process for you, so you can focus on other things. They will also help you avoid problems with bad tenants.

5. Creating a Lease Agreement

Creating a lease agreement is an important step in becoming a landlord in Australia. A lease agreement is a legally binding contract between you and your tenant that outlines the terms of the rental, such as the rent amount, the length of the lease, and the rules and regulations of the property.

Here are some tips for creating a lease agreement in Australia:

  • Use a template: There are many lease agreement templates available online that you can use as a starting point. This will save you time and hassle, and it will help to ensure that your lease agreement is comprehensive and legally sound.
  • Be clear and concise: Your lease agreement should be clear and concise so that both you and your tenant understand the terms of the agreement. Avoid using legal jargon or technical terms that your tenant may not understand.
  • Be specific: Your lease agreement should be specific about the terms of the rental, such as the rent amount, the length of the lease, and the rules and regulations of the property. This will help to avoid any misunderstandings or disagreements down the road.
  • Get it in writing: A lease agreement should be in writing and signed by both you and your tenant. This will help to ensure that the terms of the agreement are enforceable.

Here are some additional resources that can help you create a lease agreement in Australia:

  • The Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (RTA): The RTA is the primary piece of legislation that governs landlord-tenant relationships in Australia. You can find the RTA on the website of the Australian Government.
  • The Australian Property Institute: The Australian Property Institute (API) is a professional body for property professionals in Australia. The API has a number of resources available to help landlords create lease agreements.
  • A lawyer: If you have any questions about creating a lease agreement, you should consult with a lawyer. A lawyer can help you ensure that your lease agreement is comprehensive and legally sound.

6. Getting a Landlord Insurance: Do I need a Landlord Insurance?

Whether or not you need landlord insurance depends on a number of factors, including the laws in Australia, the type of property you own, and your personal financial situation. However, in general, landlord insurance is a good idea for most landlords in Australia.

Landlord insurance can protect you from a number of financial losses, including:

  • Property damage: If your property is damaged by fire, flood, or other disaster, landlord insurance can help you pay for repairs.
  • Lawful liability: If a tenant is injured on your property, landlord insurance can help you pay for their medical expenses.
  • Loss of rent: If a tenant doesn’t pay rent, landlord insurance can help you cover your lost income.
  • Eviction costs: If you have to evict a tenant, landlord insurance can help you cover the costs of the eviction process.

The cost of landlord insurance varies depending on the size and type of property you own, as well as your personal financial situation. However, in general, landlord insurance is relatively affordable in Australia.

If you’re considering becoming a landlord in Australia, it’s important to talk to your insurance agent about landlord insurance. They can help you determine if landlord insurance is right for you and help you find a policy that meets your needs.

7. Building a Positive Relationship with Your Tenants

Maintaining and taking care of tenants is an important part of being a landlord. It can help you build a good relationship with your tenants, which can lead to a more positive rental experience for everyone involved.

Here are some tips for maintaining and taking care of tenants:

  • Be responsive to their needs: If a tenant has a problem with the property, be quick to respond and fix it. This will show your tenants that you care about their well-being and that you’re committed to providing them with a good living space.
  • Be respectful of their privacy: Don’t enter the property without giving the tenant proper notice. And if you do need to enter the property, be sure to be respectful of their belongings and their space.
  • Be fair and consistent: When it comes to things like rent payments and late fees, be fair and consistent with all of your tenants. This will help to build trust and respect between you and your tenants.
  • Be proactive: Don’t wait for problems to arise before you take action. Regularly inspect the property for any signs of damage or wear and tear. This will help to prevent small problems from becoming big ones.
  • Be a good communicator: Keep your tenants informed about important matters, such as upcoming repairs or changes to the rental agreement. This will help to avoid any misunderstandings or surprises down the road.

By following these tips, you can show your tenants that you’re a responsible landlord who cares about their well-being. This can lead to a more positive rental experience for everyone involved.

8. How to Become a Landlord as an Expat

Becoming a landlord as an Australian expat can be a great way to generate passive income and build wealth. However, it’s important to do your research and understand the legal and financial implications of owning a rental property in Australia.

Here are some tips for becoming a landlord as an Australian expat:

  • Do your research: Understand the local laws and regulations, including landlord-tenant laws and tax implications.
  • Hire a property manager, especially since you can’t be in the country regularly.
  • Get landlord insurance: Protect yourself in case of damage or rent default.
  • Screen tenants carefully: Check credit history, rental history, and employment history.
  • Be prepared for problems: Late rent payments, damage, and tenant disputes are common.

Investing in Property with Odin Mortgage

Are you looking to invest in property? Odin Mortgage can help you get started. We offer a variety of mortgage products for Australian expats and foreign investors to help you finance your investment property. Our team can help you find the right loan for your needs.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you invest in property. We offer free consultations, so there’s no obligation to get started.

Get a free Australian mortgage assessment today.

Apply online to get a free recommendation with real rates and repayments.

Frequently asked questions

Landlords in Australia have to pay a number of different expenses, including:

  • Mortgage or rent payments: If you own the property outright, you won’t have to pay a mortgage, but you will still have to pay property taxes. If you rent the property, you’ll have to pay rent to the property owner.
  • Council rates: Council rates are taxes that are paid to local councils to help fund essential services, such as garbage collection and street lighting.
  • Property taxes: Property taxes are taxes that are paid to the state government to help fund public services, such as education and healthcare.
  • Insurance: Landlords should have insurance to cover their property in case of damage or loss.
  • Maintenance and repairs: Landlords are responsible for maintaining and repairing their properties. This includes things like fixing broken appliances, repairing leaky pipes, and painting the walls.
  • Vacancy costs: If your property is vacant, you’ll still have to pay the mortgage or rent, as well as council rates and property taxes.

Here are some tips on how to be a good landlord in Australia:

  • Be responsive to your tenants’ needs: If a tenant has a problem with the property, be quick to respond and fix it. This will show your tenants that you care about their well-being and that you’re committed to providing them with a good living space.
  • Be respectful of your tenants’ privacy: Don’t enter the property without giving the tenant proper notice. And if you do need to enter the property, be sure to be respectful of their belongings and their space.
  • Be fair and consistent: When it comes to things like rent payments and late fees, be fair and consistent with all of your tenants. This will help to build trust and respect between you and your tenants.
  • Be proactive: Don’t wait for problems to arise before you take action. Regularly inspect the property for any signs of damage or wear and tear. This will help to prevent small problems from becoming big ones.
  • Be a good communicator: Keep your tenants informed about important matters, such as upcoming repairs or changes to the rental agreement. This will help to avoid any misunderstandings or surprises down the road.

The amount you can rent your house for in Australia will depend on a number of factors, including the size and location of the property, the amenities it offers, and the current rental market. However, you can use a rental calculator to get an estimate of how much you can rent your house for.



Odin Mortgage Logo
Featured In
Geo Expat Logo
Asia xpat Logo
Expat.com Logo
Expat Living Logo
AAHK Logo
Easy Expat Logo
FREE GUIDE

10 Best Tips for Australian Expats to Maximise Borrowing Power & Approval Success