Real costs to consider when holding an investment property

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Real costs to consider when holding an investment property

By Bianca Dabu | 26 November 2016

While many property investors tend to take a breather after paying the deposit and budgeting the mortgage repayments for their asset, they will do well to understand that there are still multiple ongoing costs that they have to shoulder to keep and maintain their investment property.

One of the most important strategies to develop when starting a property investment journey is how to anticipate and deal with fluctuating holding costs for the long-term.

“Recurring rates, fees, and maintenance costs can be the difference between a positively and negatively-geared property, depending on how much rental income a property generates,” according to property professional Jack Needham. “Keeping on top of these costs by factoring them into your calculations can also reduce any personal stress relating to your portfolio.”

Jack lists the most common costs associated with holding an investment property, beyond the initial costs of establishing an investment:

1. Loan repayments

This is defined as the cost of servicing the loan used to purchase a property and it can vary based on the amount borrowed, loan term, loan type, and other servicing fees.

2. Council rates and land tax

These rates will depend on local government areas and are usually paid annually.

3. Water rates

Depending on the provisions for separate metering of utilities, some investors may have to pay for the water costs of an investment property.

“Many older apartments will not have separate metering of water, meaning that the owner will typically be liable for water rates,” Jack said.

4. Insurance

Aside from building insurance, many property investors also opt for landlord insurance to further protect them from the impact of unexpected tenant-related liabilities.

5. Body corporate fees

These fees are used to keep apartments and townhouse complex in good condition and are usually paid quarterly. Detached houses will not be liable for these costs.

6. Repairs and maintenance costs

According to Jack, this is one of the most difficult cost to anticipate and control because it can turn up anytime and may vary depending on the nature of the issue and the current condition of the property, as well as the insurance policies in place.

7. Property management fees

Property investors who choose to go through an agency to help them manage their properties will have to consider ongoing agency fees, which they will take as a proportion of the monthly rent.

8. Tax on rental income

All rental property investments should be able to provide an investor income in the form of rental payments.

Jack explained: “These rental payments, along with any reimbursements associated with outgoings, are subject to taxation and must be declared on an investor’s tax return.”

While these holding costs may seem too much to handle, budding property investors should not be discouraged to continue their journey as long as they are committed to keeping an updated budget, which will assist them in spreading expenses over a period of time.



An investment is an asset or item purchased with the expectation that it will generate income or appreciate in value in the future.


Property refers to either a tangible or intangible item that an individual or business has legal rights or ownership of, such as houses, cars, stocks or bond certificates.

About the author

Real costs to consider when holding an investment property
property investments, budgeting mortgage repayments, costs, invest
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