Renting out your Property to Travel
Before you leave for your big trip, if you’re a homeowner, you have several options:
- sell up
- rent out your property
- leave your property empty (lock it up)
Having a mortgage to pay, and lots of travel expenses coming up, I chose to rent out the property. I don’t want to come home after a year or more to nothing, I haven’t worked this hard to come back empty-handed.
If you are thinking the same thing, the two best ways to go are:
- to rent out to a friend, who can look after things, that you trust; or
- put it through a property manager, for a fee, and they will look over your property while you’re away.
I already live with a couple of young Kiwi (New Zealand) boys, but have decided to put it through a property manager anyway, for my own peace of mind. I’ve established with the management company that the boys will stay on as existing tenants for 12 months.
I didn’t have to pack up all my furniture and put it in storage, or sell it all. I trust the guys enough to look after that (it’s all insured too); I just don’t trust them to keep the place tidy.
My property manager will do all the usual 12 week inspections, collect the rent, handle any maintenance and bills, and just deduct all expenses from the rent which gets paid into an account monthly.
I gave my Dad limited power of attorney, so should something come up where he will need to access my financial or personal records, he has that ability without disturbing me from my adventure (for example: come Tax time).I also redirected all mail to his house, and packed up my personal effects, so it’s as though I never lived there at all.
Finding a quality, yet well-priced Property Manager has a little bit of a process involved. I interviewed 3–4 different people, and had them give me a list of all the financial costs involved. I also asked about their history in the area, and how long they’ve been in business for. I also gathered how strong-handed they would be in managing the property… after all, the guys living there are friends of mine. Having an inspection and quote on the rent & fees is all obligation free, so you don’t have to go with the first management you find.
Once I found a manager I liked, it only took a few days to get the paperwork signed and the ball rolling. The boys are happy (to be rid of their landlord), and I am happy knowing that my house is safe.
I’d also suggest taking out Landlord Insurance; in case of default on the rent, malicious damage, etc. The companies I called bundled it with building insurance, so there was a small hassle with cancelling one policy and starting up another.
Between the property manager, and my Dad, they will take care of rates, insurance, and bills associated with renting.
Peace of mind