Successful Landlord Hacks. Investing in property is a business. Don’t lose money.

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Successful Landlord Hacks.
Investing in property is a business.
Don’t lose money.

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There are 7.5 million customers (renters) in Australia.

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Around 31% of Australians rent their home.

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More people rent now than in 1995, when the figure sat at 27.5%.


This means, more of us, are becoming landlords.

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# 1. Get maximum tax depreciations

A Quantity Surveyor will itemise how much you can claim for your business (your investment properties). The quantity surveyor report will cost you approximately $600 AUD.

Key take away. re you leaving money on the table?

Of course, that only works if you’ve chosen new, off the plans, or near a new property. Or, if you’ve done a significant renovation.

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# 2. Use an accountant that specialises in property depreciation.

No. Not all accountants are the same!

One of my staff members used to own a very famous known Australian franchise, one afternoon, one of my fulltime retail staff complained to me that he’s got a tax bill of $600.

She was aghast. AND LIVID.

How is that the full time retail salary (back then) was $36,000 gross per annum. And this person owes tax??

She urged him to go to another accountant (her own). 3 weeks later he got his second assessment done, this time… a refund of $1,800!

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# 3. Employ a property manager

It’s possible to go it alone as a landlord and manage your properties yourself. But employing an expert property manager (usually a licensed real estate agent) as a middle man can save you a lot of headaches in the long run.

And ride them. Demand service. After all, you’re paying for it. There are now dozens of NEW places where your property can be advertised online to attract tenants, including:

•       Dozens of FaceBook groups.
•       Make sure all of your listings are responsive, ask your property
        manager to text you the URL’s where they’re advertised so you can
        see how your property looks yourself.
•       Nag them until you are 110% happy with the description they’ve used
        about your property.
•       A picture tells a 1,000 words…still. Make sure you’re property images
        are done by a professional. Yes, this will cost you. Again, it’s a tax
•       Your property manager should start advertising 1 month prior to the
        end of the current lease. Call the property manager every Monday, to
        get an update (a) how many calls about the property? (b) how many
        inspections booked and held? Every Monday.

Remember, your Property Manager works for you. Ride them. Demand service.

Use the squeaky-wheel-gets-the-most-attention strategy. Why? You’re only 1 of hundreds, perhaps thousands of landlords that they service.

Do you think they care about your empty property? How much do they care? Do you think they’ll prioritise you over everyone else on their list? No. They won’t.

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# 4. Plan ahead, get Landlord’s Insurance.

For a smidgen over $300 per year, you’re covered for all a weather… AND if your tenant goes berserk and disappears overnight leaving you with an empty property for a while (while your property agent finds you a new tenant), you can claim on any damage done, cleaning costs and for the rent that’s owed to you.

PLUS. “Acts of God” do happen. Flood. Fire.

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# 5. Be aware of your legal responsibilities All landlords should ensure they are familiar with their rights and responsibilities under Australian law.

The landlord tenant relationship is governed by the Residential Tenancy Act of each state and territory in Australia.

Go here:

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# 6. Document and communicate

Whether or not you decide to use a property manager or not, it’s best to ensure all tenant agreements are documented in writing as a lease agreement so all parties are on the same page.

And good, efficient communication is key to a successful tenancy. If you have expectations about how the property should be kept, communicate them to your tenants or your property manager in advance — in writing.

And get their agreement (or counter offer) — in writing.

Sounds obvious and like common sense. But you’ll be surprised to find out how uncommon common sense actually is.

Put everything in writing. Everything.

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# 7. Administer the bond correctly

It’s advisable to collect a bond up front against any future damage or loss of rent from prospective tenants.

As you know, a landlord can’t hold this bond themselves – it must be lodged with the appropriate state or territory residential tenancies bond authority who will hold the bond during throughout tenancy.

A bond can be held against any damage to the property, but cannot be held against “fair wear and tear”.

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# 8. Look after your tenants

Attracting good tenants who treat your property as if it was their own is every landlord’s dream. There are two key things you can do:

Make sure your property is well presented and desirable.

Don’t skip on reference checks when assessing prospective tenants.

DO make sure that you notify them 24 hours in advance when someone will be on the property (even when you’re sending contractors onto the property to make the place look better, make sure that you don’t annoy your tenants by not notifying them).

And. Respond positively to your tenants’ requests for maintenance. After all, they’re your customers.

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# 9. Where to find quick, economical handymen

There are dozens of new online platforms where you can posts jobs, and get, almost instant quotes.

For example: AirTasker

I have an entrepreneur friend, who broke her wrist recently. She AirTasked everything in her life. Literally, everything. Picking up groceries, cutting-up her delivered meals, cleaning out the food in her holiday home (she wouldn’t be able to visit her holiday home for several weeks with a broken wrist).

She was surprised and reassured by the high level of integrity and quality of the work and services she received.

Others are:

OneFlare and Gumtree.

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#10. The Financial Strategy behind the mortgage

Get an off-set account attached to your mortgage.

ALWAYS have 1 month’s mortgage payment in advance, sitting in your off set account.

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# 1. AirBnb

Rental properties are an investment so as a landlord, you want to maximise your rental earnings.

You should keep an eye on market rents, choose a desirable area in which to invest and make sure your property is well maintained.

I’d like to outline quickly, without going into detail of each item, 8 ways you can earn extra income from your investment property.

Rent out a room, a couple of rooms, or your entire place during peak season holiday periods using online platforms like AirBnb.

I have a friend who owns a beautiful home in Ocean Shores, Northern NSW. She gets paid $950 per night to rent out her home during Byron Bay music festivals (and yes, she has a beautiful home and that’s why she can ask so much per night). During these weeks, she moves in with her mum who lives in the area.

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# 2. Rent your garage space to one of your neighbours.

I have clients in inner city living who have rented out their car space for $30 per week.

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# 3. Subdivide.

Depending on your situation – you could subdivide.

Obviously, this not a quick turn-around option. And it will cost you to subdivide. However, in the long term it’ll add significant capital growth to your property and generate extra cash flow. If this is possible for you, this defiantly is one of the smartest investment decisions you could make.

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# 4. Join the Tiny House movement.

The Tiny House movement could be to your advantage.

Again, this is not a quick turn-around option. And it will cost you to build or buy a tiny home in your yard. However, in the long term it’ll add significant cash flow.

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# 5. Rent-out, fully furnished.

Furnish your property and rent it out fully furnished. Gumtree is FULL of FREE, near new furniture (you’ll need to organise pick up of the free furniture). Don’t forget, this free furniture is a tax deduction for you.

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#6. HomeCamp

Renting out your garden to campers might be an option for you. Homecamp, a startup launched in 2015, allows you to advertise your home’s garden to travellers. They’ll pay to come along, pitch a tent and stay a while.

Victoria and Sydney have the most listings on the website, ranging in price from $10 to $50 a night.

Once you hear the numbers, it doesn’t sound as crazy as you first thought, right?

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#7. Spacer.

An alternative to someone staying in your home is to provide a safe space for their storage needs.

Innovative Australian company Spacer, allows you to rent out your space for self-storage, acting as a link between those with empty rooms and those with storage needs. This could be a garage, a spare room, sheds, basements, attic space or in your backyard.

You could earn $150 to $250 a month for allowing others to store their boat, caravan or another vehicle in your driveway.

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# 8. ParkHound

With parking prices skyrocketing in many inner-city areas and growing congestion, your driveway could be a goldmine. If you’re in a sought-after area, particularly near employment hubs, there could be an opportunity for you to make money from this space. Some homeowners advertise directly to locals, but another option is to market vacant parking space on Park Hound.

The amount you can earn varies significantly, but it could be more than $3,600 a year. Park Hound suggests checking the price of local on-street and off-street parking and ensuring your asking cost is lower. A bond is charged and the booking provides a legally binding contract. Another website offering a similar service is JustPark.

Want the full story? Register for our successful Landlord Hacks Podcast today.


Your podcast host:
Nick Lockhart
Founder — MRD Partners | 20 Year Property Mentor | Speaker | Author

Nick is an acclaimed keynote speaker as well as Founder and Director of MRD Partners Group. Nick's adult life has been spent encouraging others to not run from but to embrace the tough times as a catalyst for personal growth and success. Nick has had a positive impact on literally tens of thousands of people; many of those are well on their way to complete financial independence. Nick is in his element when he is inspiring, mentoring and teaching safe and responsible finance and investment strategies.