Many people rent out their house or apartment as an income stream and the Dublin rental property market is quite buoyant now and likely to remain so at least until the Dublin housing crisis is resolved.
So what do you need to consider before you make the decision?
A property rental provides not alone a monthly income stream, but also an asset that appreciates with time – and again that appreciation is likely to continue given current market conditions.
Needless to say, there are tax considerations both on the income and Capital Gains on the appreciation when you cash in, but taxation applies to all investments.
There are maintenance costs too, not alone the annual management charge that goes with an apartment (and some housing developments), there are the regular upkeep costs for painting, white goods breakdowns and the almost inevitable plumbing jobs that will arise.
On top of that you need you need to factor in replacement costs, white goods will need replacing and there will come a time when you have to replace the kitchen units or wardrobes, flooring or you may have to upgrade to keep in line with current legislation.
And if you are relying on the monthly rent to pay the mortgage, as many are, you need to consider what you will do if the rent stops for whatever reason- every landlords nightmare is a tenant who doesn’t pay the rent for example.
I would strongly recommend that you consider putting your own ‘sinking fund’ in place to cover those potential situations. A figure of 5% over time would give you a level of comfort, but whatever you can afford is great.
And do ensure that your landlords insurance is in place, it’s a relatively small cost and is deductible against tax.
Choosing your tenant is the single most important factor. It is a matter of doing the due diligence and checking each of those references and the personal judgement you make on the people you choose.
Consider what you want from your tenants –
The size of the family
How long are they likely to stay.
Can they afford the rent over the long term
Do they suit the development – while they blend with the neighbours. A family with young children may find a music playing neighbour a problem.
What will they be like to deal with if a problem does arise. A mutual respect is important for a good relationship.
Being a landlord is more complex than it used to be – a lot more.
The Standards in Rented Accommodation legislation defines what the ‘must haves’ of a rented property are and a variety of legislation covers your relationship with your tenant. Those rules and regulations are presided over by the Residential Tenancies Board, commonly known as the PRTB, who are there to resolve issues arising between the tenant and landlord and will act on behalf of either party.
The Residential Tenancies Act of 2004 is the primary legislation the RTB work on and it is a minefield. Landlords quite innocently have fallen foul of the Act while doing what they consider to be ‘the right thing’. There are plenty of newspaper articles about landlords being fined for breaching the Act in one way or another, wittingly or unwittingly.
Having said all of that the majority of tenants are well behaved, pay their rent on time and look after the place, which is, after all, their home.
Employing a Letting Agent not alone takes a lot of the work off your shoulders, but gives you access to a skill set and experience. All Agents must be registered with the Property Services Regulatory Authority and should be able to show you their licence.
And find an Agent who you can talk to – who will be there to answer the occasional question after the fee has been paid and who does have the knowledge to guide you.
You may also consider an Agent who will manage the tenancy for you – in other words be the first point of contact for both yourself and the tenant, who will arrange to get the plumber in and who will make inspection visits to the property on a regular basis.
I hope the above is helpful, you can contact us here if you have any questions.