You've been renting out rooms in your house to international students; but because of the pandemic, international students can't enter Australia. Finance expert Maria Papa gives some alternatives you can consider to compensate for these vacancies.
'May PERAan' is SBS Filipino's podcast series featuring financial experts seeking to answer the most common questions about money and finances.
"If you think of everything you spend on to maintain the home, as well as council rates, utilities and home insurance - that's a heavy burden," Finance expert Maria Papa shares.
And for many who have relied on earnings from renting out rooms in their home to international students, closed borders have worsened the burden of home maintenance.
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- Downsize and, sell or rent out home.
- Turn home into a share house.
- Explore aged pension and draw down from your superannuation.
Maria shares that there are three things that a homestay host can do if rooms are vacant due to border closures:
1. Downsize and, sell or rent out home.
"You can actually sell her home and downsize to something less expensive. After all, a large home is difficult to maintain as one gets older," Maria shares.
However, if you're not willing to sell your home, Maria says you can opt to rent out the whole house.
"Rent could be around 595 AUD a week. However, if let's say you earn a thousand per room for homestays, you'll be earning less if you have the house rented out," Maria shares, adding, "Then when the students come back and you'll want to move back in, you're going to have to move back all your things to the home. That's going to be hard on you."
2. Turn the home into a share house.
If you're unwilling to sell or rent the home, Maria says that the best thing to do is to turn your home into a share house.
"Search for flatmates online. Expect to rent out a room for roughly 150-200 AUD a week. That's going to be less than what you earn from homestays, but at least there's money coming in. I think this is actually the perfect solution while we're all in lockdown."
3. Explore aged pension and draw down from your superannuation.
"See if you can survive on the income from homesharing. Talk with the in-house financial planner of your superannuation provider and ask if you are qualified for aged pension and if it can be drawn down to your super.
"Then you can have a chat with Services Australia. If you are qualified for aged pension, you can get around 868.30 AUD per fortnight."
While the rental market won't improve until borders open, Maria urges property owners and landlords to not lose heart.
"If you can ride it out for the next six months, you should be okay. We'll have to wait another six months to a year until everything gets better, but don't lose heart. This is all temporary."
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Disclaimer: This article is for general information only. For specific financial advice, you should consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice to check how the information here relates to your unique circumstances.