Should You Rent Out Your Home While You Travel?

It’s easier to go travelling for months on end when you have no commitments. If you rent or own a house, long-term travel can be more challenging because you’ll likely still have rent or a mortgage to cover back home. Unless you’re able to keep money coming in as you travel, you may not be able to afford your rent/mortgage on top of travel costs.

One solution is to rent out your home to a tenant or lodger. This could allow you to keep some income coming in that could cover the rent/mortgage. It could also have other advantages. Of course, there are also drawbacks to renting out your home as you travel. This post weighs up the benefits and drawbacks.


Related: “Ultimate Travel Guide to Vietnam”

What are the benefits?

Renting out your home makes it possible to travel while covering the cost of your rent/mortgage. The alternatives are to a) work as you travel b) save up a huge amount before travelling or c) move out of your rented home/sell your home to travel – these alternatives require extra work or sacrifice. Renting out your home to tenants requires minimal work on your part and you get to keep your home. 

Having a lodger or tenant staying in your home can also keep your home secure. Leaving a property vacant for months on end could make it a target for burglars or vandals. Renting out your home to a tenant can function a bit like hiring a house-sitter, except they pay you.

What are the drawbacks?

Some people may find that they don’t have permission to rent out their home. If you rent property and plan to sublet to a tenant while you travel, you’ll need to get permission from your landlord first – not all landlords will be happy to allow sub-letting and those that do allow this will likely want to be part of the tenant selection process. Similarly, if you own property and have a mortgage, you’ll need to check that your mortgage lender is happy with you renting out your home temporarily (if not, you may have to consider taking out a new mortgage).

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Trusting someone else to live in your home temporarily could be difficult. You’ll need to set clear rules and you’ll need to consider whether to keep your possessions in the home. So that tenants are allowed to make it feel like their home and so that your possessions are safe from damage, it may be more sensible to move out all your possessions into self-storage using a company like Dromana Storage. Self-storage fees can vary – ideally, you don’t want to be paying too much per month

You’ll likely need to hire a property manager to attend to tenant needs while you’re away. Tenants have certain rights and expectations that you need to be aware of – read into these and make sure you can meet them. In most cases, the minimum length of a tenancy is 6 months – you could find it difficult to find a tenant willing to rent your home for a shorter period than this.

Should I rent out my home while travelling?

While it may seem that the drawbacks outweigh the benefits, most of the drawbacks mentioned come with solutions such as using self-storage and hiring a property manager. The most important obstacle to overcome is gaining permission to legally rent out your home – if your landlord or mortgage lender does not give you permission, you will not be able to rent out your home. Focus on getting this permission first and then decide whether you can manage the trust and responsibility of taking on a tenant.

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