What would you do with an inheritance?
Perhaps you would buy a new car or an around-the-world trip, maybe even a house on the coast?
But one Canberra couple decided to buy an investment property with the specific purpose of leasing it through charitable property management service Rentwell, set up by not-for-profit organisation YWCA Canberra.
Jude Blacklock said she and her husband, David, both came into inheritances over the past two years and weren’t quite sure what to do with it until they read a media report on Rentwell and it became a “no-brainer”.
“We just thought, we have a fantastic lifestyle, we have healthy children, we have good jobs, and we can afford to live in Canberra,” said Ms Blacklock.
“We are a product of being born in the 1960s when you grew up and you could actually afford your house in your 20s.
“We just wanted to make our money mean something.”
Before buying the property, Ms Blacklock approached Rentwell to seek advice on what sorts of homes they were after.
“We chose something that was self-contained and in a secure building, close to public transport, just all those things I thought people who might have a low-income would like,” she said.
“We stumbled across a place and it all happened really quickly. I went to the inspection in July and we’ve already had a tenant in for two weeks so the whole process has been good for us.”
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Rentwell leases properties out at 74.9 per cent of the market rate. Ms Blacklock’s two-bedroom property in Belconnen was appraised at $410 per week but is rented out at $307 per week.
In exchange for renting it out under the market rate, the landlord is exempt from paying land tax under the ACT government’s pilot program that gives exemptions for those leasing their property out through a community housing provider.
The land tax exemption is typically not enough to make up for the lost rent, but while week-to-week there are losses, landlords can claim a tax-deductible gift receipt through YWCA at the end of the financial year for any foregone rent.
It comes as Rentwell has teamed up with Allhomes in a new partnership targeting altruistic property owners. The property portal will help Rentwell with advertising initiatives.
The property management service has been in operation for close to six months, and YWCA chief executive Frances Crimmins said in that time they had housed more than one dozen people across 10 properties. She said they were seeking more property owners to jump on board.
“While there is no shortage of potential tenants contacting us about Rentwell, we’re looking for more philanthropic investment property owners to join us,” said Ms Crimmins.
“This is a great opportunity for property owners to make a real difference in the lives of fellow Canberrans.”
Ms Blacklock added, “I would encourage people to think how not only they can use their investment dollars for their own futures but to try and help other people get on their feet.”