I am renting out my apartment and am going to Australia for a year as I have found work there. I’ve never been a landlord before and am not sure now to go about the whole thing — finding tenants, contracts etc. What do I ‘ need to do?
You have three options with regard to rental and management of your apartment while you are abroad. The first is to let the property yourself and perhaps ask family to assist you with maintenance and tenant issues that may arise during the tenancy while you are abroad. You would need to advertise the property, conduct viewings to find suitable tenant(s) and sign a letting agreement. Your tenancy must also be registered with the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB), see prtb.ie. The second is to use an experienced letting and management agent to handle the arrangements and management of the apartment. The third option is a combination of the two above, ie, use a letting agent to find a tenant, to prepare an inventory and to prepare all the contractual paperwork, and then perhaps you could ask a family member to handle any maintenance/tenant issues that may arise during the tenancy.
The main reasons for embarking on options one and three above would be if your cash flow is very tight, or if you wish to handle a lot of the elements of the letting yourself. The logical option, if you can afford it, it is to use option two, which will relieve you of any worry or concerns while you are abroad. A good letting and management agent will take care of the entire process of finding tenants and handling all issues relating to the apartment on your behalf while keeping you fully appraised.
Furthermore, the agent’s fees are tax deductible. If you are using an agent, it is a good idea to check they are a qualified and experienced professional.
Fergal Hopkins is an associate member of the Royal Institution of Chartered
Surveyors and the Society of Chartered Surveyors