How to transition my holiday rental into a mid-term rental during the off season.

A common trend that we have seen lately is those who own a holiday rental property (Airbnb/Regional Escapes/Barwon Grove Holiday Rentals etc) are keen to find a longer-term tenant in the off season. This is a great idea for the slow season, as it helps to minimise vacancy periods, brings in a regular income and is also less maintenance during that time of year as you are not having to coordinate cleaning, deal with bookings or the regular turnover of guests.

So, what needs to be done in the case of having a longer-term renter in during the off period?

Leave the property furnished

Most tenants looking to jump into a 3-6 month lease are looking to test out the region, or temporarily relocate for work/pleasure. Therefore, most of this demographic aren’t looking to shift all of their belongings/furniture for such a short term stay. This also enables you to charge a little more than the equivalent unfurnished property.

Put a lease in place

Unlike holiday stays, a lease will need to be issued for all stays 3 months and over. However, you will need to be very clear that the property is only available for set dates (eg. March – November) when advertising the property and drawing up the lease to ensure that the tenant knows that the property will not be available for a renewal come the summer dates.

Owner obligation

Please note that your owner obligations will differ for a residential rental property. This will be your tenant’s home and so it will bring with it the obligation to complete maintenance, maintain minimum standards, and stay up to date with residential safety compliance checks.

Routines

You (or your property manager) will need to conduct routine inspections to ensure the tenant is upholding their responsibilities as a tenant; as you will not have those regular ingoing/outgoing inspections to check in on your property.

Tenants

Unlike hosting on Airbnb (etc) you cannot simply kick out your guests/tenants if you are not pleased with how they are living in the property. Your tenants will be responsible for the upkeep of your property for the duration of the lease, so you will want to ensure that you are carefully selecting and vetting all potential tenants, as they will either make or break your experience as a landlord.

VCAT

As mentioned above, all disputes with tenants must go through the proper legal proceedings. Which is why it is very important to ensure you are doing everything as per the Residential Tenancies Act and that you have the correct documentation/records for all interactions. If you engage a property manager they will take care of this for you. This also comes into play in regard to claiming the bond for any damages/cleaning, VCAT will need to authorise all deductions. This all comes back to the selection of highly recommended tenants, as initially selecting great tenants will generally ensure that VCAT proceedings can be avoided.

If you engage a property manager, they will complete all of these checks and processes for you.

This is a service that we at PropertyOwners offer during the off season for local holiday rentals. If you are interested to know more, please reach out to us and we can chat to you about your particular property and what might be the best option for you. (03) 5223 1657

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