How to Manage a Holiday Rental Property in Australia – Having a holiday rental property can be very lucrative, but you need to be aware of the pitfalls and manage your property professionally, like a small business.
Learn the pros and cons of holiday rentals, whether you should self-manage your property, how to advertise your property and why you absolutely need to use a Holiday Rental Agreement with your guests.
Should I rent my property as a holiday rental?
If you own an investment property and want to rent it out, you have two choices:
- Rent it out as a long-term residential property, or
- Rent it out as a short-term holiday rental property
In general, “short-term” means the longest you can rent out your property is for around 6 weeks. The legislation varies by State and Territory, so do check your local restrictions. Each rental option has its pros and cons.
In the case of a short-term holiday rental, you have a lot less security of income. However, you avoid the onerous residential tenancy legislation. As long as you meet the Australian Consumer Protection regulations, you will find you are much less restricted in how you manage your holiday rental property.
Do I need a licence to rent my property as a holiday rental?
No, you do not need a licence to rent your house/apartment as a holiday rental property. Licences are only required by letting agents, but not by individual property owners.
If your property is in NSW and you are engaging an agent or a broker to manage your property, they must have a licence. In Victoria, the requirement for a license is dependent on the rental period and whether you own the properties you are managing. The other States and Territories are less strict and some have no requirements.
You should make your own enquiries locally to ensure you are compliant.
How should I advertise my holiday rental property?
Thanks to the Internet there are quite a few effective and inexpensive advertising options now available.
Listing on Search and Stay is the same as taking a direct booking, we want to make it fairer and cheaper for owners to promote and rent their holiday properties online.
It’s easy and free to list and all the features you’d need are included, eg
- rates and season management
- extra charges
- booking and reservation management
- guest communication
- review system
- owner portal and reporting system
We also include features like a choice of ‘booking request’ or ‘instant booking’ depending what owners prefer. As yet, we don’t offer features such as trust accounting, cleaning and maintenance management, however, if there is a need from owners, we hope to add more features like this in the future.
It’s pretty simple to upload your property details and list, it’s also up within a few minutes ready for bookings. When you receive a booking you will be paid your full rental amount plus any of your fees and charges, on guest check-in.
While you’re checking holiday rental websites, don’t forget to check your nightly and weekly rates with other similar properties in your area. Make sure you’re competitive.
Whichever holiday rental website you decide to use, your property advertisement needs to be very clear and accurate. You have to be careful that your advertisement matches your property specifications and inclusions, so that you don’t breach Fair Trading legislation. Make sure to list any restrictions, such as children, smoking or pets.
The clearer you are, the less issues you will have with misunderstandings or inquiries that require back and forth communication and waste time. You want to ensure you are upfront and open to be able to secure your bookings as quickly and efficiently as possible.
What do I need to be aware of when advertising my property?
The Fair Trading Act and Consumer Protection legislation state that it is illegal for you to make any false or misleading statements to any consumers about your accommodation.
Misrepresenting accommodation in advertising or brochures may be deliberate or accidental but, either way, it is illegal. You must be clear about representing the quality and standard of your property. Ensure the photos of your property are complete and updated regularly and that the description of your property, distances to attractions, transport and shopping, etc. are all accurate.
Also make it clear the number and types of beds and bedrooms you are advertising – if there is a sofa bed in a sunroom, for example, this must be made clear as it is not an actual bedroom.
Related Article: Self-Managing, Should I rent my property as a holiday rental?, Do I need a licence to rent my property as a holiday rental?, How should I advertise my holiday rental property?, What do I need to be aware of when advertising my property?