FAQs for property owners

Getting Started

  • You enter into a head lease agreement with YWCA Canberra, which means we’re responsible for ensuring your rental income is paid 
  • We identify suitable and eligible tenants and sub-lease your property to them at below 75 per cent market rate 
  • You apply for a land tax exemption through the ACT Revenue Office 
  • YWCA Canberra provides you with a tax-deductible gift receipt for any foregone rent 
  • You provide affordable, appropriate and secure housing  

We provide the following services for all Rentwell properties: 

  • A dedicated property manager 

As an organisation that has provided services to the Canberra community since 1929, our team prides itself on providing exceptional client services. We develop and nurture strong relationships with property owners to provide a seamless and professional experience. Through regular and clear communication, we will keep you in the loop with any maintenance or other requirements as they arise. 

  • A thorough screening and placement process 

We understand that steady and consistent rental income is of the utmost importance to all property investors. That’s why our skilled and experienced property managers spend the time to ensure we source the right tenant for your investment. Our rigorous application and screening process enable us to place the most suitable tenant for your property. 

  • Robust policies, systems and processes 

Our team has access to cutting edge technology, externally accredited policies and processes and an in-house finance team. This means we can ensure we’re offering a competitive fee structure as well as providing regular reports on how your property is tracking. We are also registered under the National Regulatory System for Community Housing, which means our governance and systems are regularly audited.  

  • Ethical and professional suppliers 

As a trusted and respected not-for-profit organisation, YWCA Canberra has developed a network of ethical and responsible maintenance suppliers. Our team works closely with our regular suppliers to ensure any repairs or works carried out are of the highest standard. 

  • Competitive fees and rental returns 

Our goal is to rent your property out at a rate that meets your investment requirements as well as provides an affordable home to a Canberran in need. We work hard to ensure your property is rented by the most appropriate eligible tenant.  

Our management fee is charged at 6.6% of the affordable rent this is calculated over 12 months and charged as a monthly flat fee. 

We also offer deductible gift receipts to property owners for any foregone rental income (the gap between market rate and the agreed rate). 

  • Community connections and support for tenants 

We work with all tenants to ensure they are receiving the help and support they might need to maintain their tenancy. Our team is well networked with community services across the ACT and can provide information and soft referrals if required.  

Yes, a redirection form is completed, and your invoices will be sent to Rentwell.   The invoices are paid monthly, we will send you electronic copies of each invoice, attached to your monthly statement. 

Yes, this will be emailed at the end of each financial year. 

Upon entering into an agreement with us, we will assign one of our property managers as your main point of contact. 

A member of our team will manage your property should your dedicated property manager be on leave. You will never be without a point of contact. 

From 28 March 2019, property owners may be eligible for a land tax exemption when they rent their property through a registered community housing provider for affordable community housing purposes. 

This scheme is administered jointly by the ACT Revenue Office who has responsibility for the land tax exemption, and the Environment Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate who has responsibility for community housing provider arrangements. 

To be eligible an owner must: 

  • Have entered into an agreement with a registered community housing provider to make their property available for affordable community housing. 
  • Have rented their property at a rate that is less than 75 per cent of the current market rent. 

Owners who qualify for the exemption may apply to the ACT Revenue Office for the exemption by completing the Affordable Community Housing Land Tax Exemption Form and attaching the signed agreement with the registered community housing provider. 

Owners should complete this form as soon as possible after they have a signed agreement with the registered community housing provider. Forms completed and received in the last 2 weeks of a quarter will not get processed until the following quarter. 

Tax deductions can be made on both old and new properties and may include the wear and tear of a building and the plant and equipment items within it. 

Please seek advice from a qualified Tax Depreciation Specialist as to how you may take advantage of claiming depreciation on your property. 

Costs And Fees

Yes, we will charge 6.6% on the affordable rent collected, inclusive of GST.  This will be reflected on your monthly statements.

Yes, you will require landlord insurance cover. Landlord insurance can cover for things such as loss of rent and/or damage to the property.  

Talk to your current insurance provider about what they have to offer. The cost is tax deductible and a worthy investment. 

You are responsible for: 

  • the cost of any rates and taxes relating to the property 
  • any services where there is not a separate metering device 
  • the annual supply charge for water and sewerage 
  • any body corporate fees if the property is a flat, unit or apartment 
  • any other services for which you agree to be responsible 

Where the tenant requires essential services to be installed in the property, you shall pay for the cost of installing these services, for example gas, electricity and water, and telephone / internet line. 

You or the tenant may change the locks for the property with the written consent of the other party. The party who changes the locks is responsible for the costs, unless both parties come to an arrangement where the costs will be shared. A copy of the new key must be provided to the Rentwell team. 

All retained earnings raised via Rentwell will be reinvested back into our affordable housing and homelessness services ensuring that we are able to provide services to more Canberrans in need. 

Rent is always due two weeks in advance, with the first fortnightly rent due on the start date of the tenancy agreement. 

Inspections, Maintenance And Repairs

Inspections are conducted within the first 30-days of a new tenancy; this is to primarily go through the returned condition report with the new tenant. Inspections are then done approximately every 6 months and if required in the last month of a tenancy being terminated.  

During an inspection our team may take photographs of damage to property or of matters requiring repair or remedy so long as they do not unnecessarily infringe the tenant’s right to privacy. 

Inspections are carried out during normal business hours

Urgent repairs are specified in the Residential Tenancy Act.    In all instances we will attempt to contact you to report the urgent repair required, if we cannot contact you, we are obligated to go ahead and organise the repairs. You will be kept informed of the progress of the repair. 

For non-urgent repairs, work must be carried out within four weeks of being notified. Maintaining your property is essential for many reasons, safety of your tenants, maximising rental potential and avoiding costly compensation claims.  

We strongly recommend setting aside additional funds in your property account (approximately $1000) so that unexpected maintenance doesn’t catch you off guard. Our team will keep you up to date with what is required in your property. 

An urgent repair is work that is needed to repair:  

  • a burst water service 
  • a blocked or broken lavatory system 
  • a serious roof leak  
  • a gas leak 
  • a dangerous electrical fault 
  • flooding or serious flood damage 
  • serious storm or fire damage 
  • a failure of gas, electricity or water supply to the property 
  • the failure of a refrigerator supplied with the property 
  • a failure or breakdown of any service on the property essential for hot water, cooking, heating or laundering 
  • a fault or damage that causes the residential property to be unsafe or insecure 
  • a serious fault in any door, staircase, lift or other common area which inhibits or unduly inconveniences the tenant in gaining access to and use of the property 
  • a fault or damage likely to cause injury to person or property 

A smoke alarm installed at premises subject to a residential tenancy agreement must comply with Australian Standard 3786, be functional and be installed on or near the ceiling and may be battery operated or hard-wired. A smoke alarm must be installed in the premises subject to a residential agreement:  

  • in each storey of the premises containing a bedroom; 
  • in every corridor or hallway associated with a bedroom; and  
  • if there is no corridor or hallway—between each part of the premises containing a bedroom and the remainder of the premises; and  
  • in each storey of the premises not containing a bedroom. 
  • A compliance certificate needs to be supplied annually. 

Identifying And Managing Tenants

Our team will source tenants via a range of channels, including: 

  • Receiving direct enquiries from prospective tenants 
  • Advertising broadly to the community online via All Homes, Shelter ACT and the Rentwell website 

Your property management agreement will be with YWCA Canberra, rather than the tenant. We sign a suitable and eligible tenant on to a sublease. 

We don’t charge a termination fee. While we are confident that you won’t want to, but if for any reason you need to, we require 30 days written notice of termination of management.  

Our rigorous application and interview process enables us to recommend the most suitable eligible applicants for your property. 

We will prioritise housing women, particularly older women and women with children. However, we will also house men and non-binary people of all ages. 

No, all inspections are conducted by a member of our team.

Tenants are also advised of their obligations in paying rent in full and on time, prior to entering into a rental agreement. As the lease agreement is with YWCA your rent will always be paid. 

A tenant can terminate a tenancy by giving YWCA Canberra 21 days written notice to vacate. This can be issued prior to the expiration of the fixed term but must not take effect until after the fixed term has ended. 

If your tenant vacates prior to the expiration of the fixed term agreement, YWCA Canberra will continue to pay rent due until such time that a suitable new tenant is sourced. In the event that we cannot source suitable and eligible tenant within 30 days, we will terminate the head lease agreement with you. 

Rent cannot exceed 74.9 per cent of market rates during the lease period. An independent valuation will be completed every two years to ensure this is maintained. 

Rent cannot be increased during a fixed term tenancy. A tenant must be given 8 weeks written notice of a rent increase. In the ACT, rent can only be increased once in a 12-month period, regardless of the nature of tenancy.  

We will work with you to ensure the rent set meets your needs as well as the tenant’s.

Yes, if the property has a separate water meter that can be accurately measured the tenant will be billed directly for water usage. 

Inspections are conducted within the first 30-days of a new tenancy; this is to primarily go through the returned condition report with the new tenant. Inspections are then done approximately every 6 months and if required in the last month of a tenancy being terminated.