Zoning in on rental success
Schools have responded with demands for more evidence of residency including asking to see recent utility bills and annual lease renewals. There are even anecdotal reports of school principals staking out rental properties in the evenings to check whether the home is genuinely occupied by the family.
There is little data on how much extra you can add to the rent if the property is in a desirable school zone but estimates suggest it can add 10 to 15 per cent to a property’s sale price.
According to Victorian real estate agency Noel Jones, a three-bedroom property just outside the popular Balwyn High School zone advertised at $460 per week would attract an extra $20 to $40 a week if it was located within the zone.
“Some schools become a victim of their own success and shrink the zone so they don’t exceed their maxmum enrolment,” she said.
Property managers should be alert to the risk of tenants renting a home in a good zone but not living there.
“If a property isn’t occupied on a long-term basis, it can affect the landlord’s insurance cover. It also leaves the property more liable to being occupied by squatters. And, with no-one to report any damage, problems like leaking roofs go unchecked.”