Saturday 16 September 2006

Rental Property Blues

Our rental property has been vacant for 1-1/2 weeks now. Hopefully the real estate agent will get us a new tenant before too long - it's alarming how quickly the balance in our joint bank account drops with the fortnightly loan payments coming out (our home + rental property) if there's only the money going in from me and the missus, and no rent. We had a really good tenant for the first 5 years after we bought the property in 2000, but the most recent tenant was only on a 6-months lease, and as soon as the lease expired they moved to a slightly better (and more expensive) house in the same suburb. I'd like the next tenant to sign a 12-month lease as we could do with some certainty of income - the wife started her maternity leave last week (offspring #2 is due in the next week or two), so we'll be using up the prepayments we had accumulated to make our home loan payments over the coming year.

The property has been advertised for three weeks, and there've been some inspections by prospective tenants, but no takers so far. It shouldn't be too hard to rent out though, as vacancy rates have been dropping for the past year and our rental is in the bottom 25% for the suburb. We set the initial rent at the bottom end of what the agent had recommended, and I now just do an annual rent review based on the rent statistics published each quarter in the NSW Rent & Sales Report. I plot our rent vs. the average to check when an increase is justified:

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