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Renting Out Your Granny Flat: Pros, Cons, and Rental Management Tips

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When it comes to property investment, many homeowners are finding value in their own backyards. Literally. Granny flats, also known as backyard pods, secondary suites, or accessory dwelling units, have emerged as a popular trend in the real estate market. But what exactly are the benefits and challenges of renting out your granny flat?

Here we delve into the pros and cons and provide some rental management tips for these charming backyard residences.

The Pros of Renting Out Your Granny Flat

·       Extra Income Source

The most evident advantage of renting out your granny flat is the additional income. Depending on your location and the size of the granny flat, you could supplement your earnings significantly. This extra income can be a boon for homeowners seeking to pay off their mortgages faster, save for retirement, or even cover the cost of the granny flat construction itself.

·       Increased Property Value

Granny flats can increase the value of your property. Future buyers may appreciate the flexibility that a separate dwelling offers, whether they plan to rent it out or use it for their family. Backyard pods also increase the overall square footage of your home, adding to its market value.

·       Flexible Use

Even if you don’t plan to rent out the granny flat immediately, it offers a wealth of potential uses. You might use it as a home office, guest house, studio, or a comfortable space for an elderly relative. If circumstances change, you have the option to rent it out.

The Cons of Renting Out Your Granny Flat

·       Legal and Zoning Restrictions

Before planning to rent out your granny flat, you need to investigate local regulations. Not all residential zones allow for secondary dwellings, and even when they do, there may be restrictions on size, amenities, and who can live there. Always check with your local planning office or a property lawyer before proceeding.

·       Upfront Costs and Maintenance

Building a granny flat can be expensive. You’ll have to factor in the cost of construction, permits, and utilities installation. Additionally, any rented property will require ongoing maintenance. Regular wear and tear, as well as unexpected repairs, can impact your profitability.

·       Tenant Management

Being a landlord requires effort and time. You’ll need to find reliable tenants, handle rent collection, manage repairs and maintenance, and potentially deal with disputes. If the tenant is disrespectful or negligent, you could face additional stress and cost.

Rental Management Tips for Your Granny Flat

So, you’ve weighed the pros and cons and decided to rent out your granny flat – here are some tips to help you manage it effectively.

·       Know the Law

As mentioned earlier, understand the legal implications of renting out a granny flat. This understanding includes zoning laws, tenant rights, rental agreements, and tax obligations. Consult with a property lawyer to ensure you’re compliant.

·       Find Reliable Tenants

Screen your potential tenants carefully. Check their references, credit history, and rental history. This screening is a crucial step in ensuring a smooth tenancy and avoiding potential issues.

·       Consider Hiring a Property Manager

If you don’t have the time or inclination to manage the rental, consider hiring a property manager. They can handle tenant finding, rent collection, and maintenance on your behalf. While this service comes at a cost, it could save you time and stress in the long run.

·       Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance not only keeps your granny flat in good condition but also keeps your tenants happy. Set up a schedule for routine maintenance tasks and make sure to budget for unexpected repairs.

·       Set Competitive Rent

Research the local rental market to set a competitive rent for your granny flat. Setting the rent too high might deter potential tenants, but setting it too low could eat into your profits.

Final Thoughts

Renting out your granny flat can be a lucrative decision, provided you navigate the challenges well. With good rental management, your backyard pod can become a valuable asset and a great source of income. Good luck!

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Destinations

What Americans Should Know about Europe’s Travel Restrictions

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In July, the European Union finally reopened its borders to travelers from several countries. The US, however, was not included in the said list. If you plan to take a trip to Europe during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, here are several things you should know.

Who is allowed to visit Europe?

There are just 14 countries currently permitted to enter the 27 EU member states plus the Schengen-linked countries of Switzerland, Norway, Lichtenstein, and Iceland.
They are the following:
· Algeria
· Australia
· Canada
· Georgia
· Japan
· Montenegro
· Morocco
· New Zealand
· Rwanda
· Serbia
· South Korea
· Thailand
· Tunisia
· Uruguay

For purposes of COVID-19 travel, citizens from these countries are allowed to enter Europe as well:

· Andorra
· Monaco
· San Marino
· Vatican
Unless they qualify for several exemptions, Americans cannot enter Europe at present.

Why are Americans not currently permitted to visit Europe?

One of the main criteria mandated by the European Council is that permitted visitors must originate from countries that do not have a total number of COVID-19 cases higher than the EU average of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 individuals. The country of origin should also have a decreasing trend of COVID-19 transmission—a pattern that is examined every couple of weeks. Currently, America’s ever-increasing number of cases does not fit the given requirement.

Are there certain exceptions to the current EU travel ban?

On-going restrictions do not cover long-term residents and their immediate family members. Individuals who need to travel to Europe due to a vital function or reason are also exempted.
Exempted travelers include the following:
· Humanitarian and health workers
· Students
· Diplomats
· Seasonal Workers

Is there any chance that the decision to ban Americans from entering Europe be modified or revoked?

The current list of permitted countries is examined and reviewed every couple of weeks. If the US’s COVID-19 trend improves—if the cases decrease and reach the total number asserted by the EU, Americans may eventually be permitted to travel to Europe. Similarly, all countries presently included in the said list get reviewed in that manner and can be eradicated from the list when the COVID-19 cases in those nations go above the specified number stressed.

To know more about the different travel guidelines and restrictions outlined by the EU, visit the European Council Recommendation.

If Europe is currently off-limits, where then can I go?

Americans can travel to several countries at present. These places include:

· Countries in the Caribbean

· Select states in Mexico

· Kenya

· Albania

· Turkey

Most countries that permit entrance to US citizens; however, issue strict health protocols, including 14-day quarantine, COVID-19 testing, compulsory insurance premiums, and decreased travel capabilities.

Equally, the US government asserts that travelers returning from several restricted locations (like several European Schengen nations, Iran, and China) are merely permitted to land in 15 airports to undergo US-imposed safety measures. Visit the website of the State Department for more information regarding various country-specific guidelines.

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Destinations

Travel During The COVID-19 Pandemic

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Traveling during the height of COVID-19 transmission can be increasingly fatal, especially when you don’t follow the proper protocols mandated to keep you safe. Without the benefit of a tried-and-tested vaccine, it is best to stay indoors for

the time being.

Nevertheless, if you have a pressing reason to go somewhere else, be sure to follow the guidelines given by your government. You can be infected with COVID-19. You may or may not experience its symptoms, but if you are an active carrier of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the said disease, you can also spread it to others during the 14-day period after you get infected.

Avoid traveling if you have been in contact with anyone who has COVID-19 during the last 14 days. Do not take a trip if you are sick or have underlying ailments like hypertension, heart disease, asthma, or diabetes.

Before Your Trip

Before you take your trip, consider the following:

Are there COVID-19 cases at your intended destination?

COVID-19 is extremely transmittable. Places with an active local transmission must be avoided at all costs. You can get infected with the disease and even carry the virus with you when you return from your trip.

Are you living with someone who is at risk of getting infected with COVID-19?

Children, the elderly, and those who have underlying ailments are highly vulnerable. If you contract the disease during your trip, you can quickly spread the virus to your companions when you return home.

Are you at risk of contracting COVID-19?

If you have a weak or compromised immune system, you are highly susceptible to COVID-19. Similarly, if you have certain chronic ailments, you are also vulnerable to the disease.

Does your planned destination have travel restrictions or requirements?

Most national and local governments have current guidelines for travelers, including the necessity of wearing face shields and face masks, 14-day quarantine protocols, and itinerary disclosures. Check the government website of your intended destination and fulfill the entry requirements provided there.

During Your Trip

When you travel, make sure that you follow these guidelines:

  • Wear a face mask—and even a face shield—especially when going to public places.
  • Avoid crowded places and follow the social distancing rule.
  • Close contact with others must be avoided—at least 6 feet apart is the safe distance between you and another person.
  • Wash your hands regularly. Carry a bottle of hand sanitizer or alcohol with you. Use it after touching anything that is exposed to everyone else.
  • Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Bring your own food—and do not eat in public places where people can suddenly cough, sneeze, or even speak near you.

Takeaway

Taking a trip during this pandemic can be extremely difficult and hazardous to your health. Staying safe must be your primary concern. Non-essential travel must be postponed because remaining indoors will ultimately keep you away from the rapid spread of COVID-19. However, if you need to travel, make sure that you strictly follow the guidelines mentioned above so that you do not contract the disease and infect others when you return home.

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Featured

The Best Travel Comfort Accessories for Long Flights

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When traveling, it is essential to bring these accessories that can provide added comfort so that you don’t reach your intended destination in a bad mood.

Travelling can be stressful. It can disrupt your sleeping patterns and cause jetlag. Hence, below are several items that can aid you as you travel overseas or overland.

Travel Pillows

Long-distance travel can result in aching muscles and a stiff neck. A soft travel pillow can help ease your muscles and prevent a stiff neck. You can even opt for pillows made with memory foam to complement your neck and shoulder muscles further, allowing you to sleep comfortably during a lengthy plane, bus, car, or train ride.

Electronic Device

Download several books or movies to keep you entertained during your trip. You can even include a digital game or two that can prevent you from being bored. Your favorite music playlist can also help.

Noise-Cancelling Headphones

To complement your device, be sure to carry with you a pair of effective noise-canceling headphones. By doing so, you get to eradicate extraneous sounds during your trip and, instead, keep yourself entertained with your chosen audiobook, movie, or music playlist.

Earplugs

To help you sleep soundly, include a pair of earplugs, too. Sleeping during a long trip is difficult, especially when you have to make do with public transportation. A good pair of earplugs can keep the noise low so that you get your much-needed rest despite others’ presence on the trip.

Eye Masks

To keep out the light, bring with you an eye mask set. You can use them to keep out the sun or the general overhead light in a plane, bus, or train.

Compression Socks

Traveling for long distances restrains you from doing any physical activity like walking and standing. Include a pair of compression socks in your bag so that you can use them during your trip. They help maintain blood flow so that you don’t experience swollen feet or blood clots.

It is easy to misplace small items during a trip. Travel organizers and cases help systemize your belongings so that everything is accounted for—you get to remember where everything is placed and even eradicate the risk of spilled liquid (i.e., lotions, shampoo, and hair conditioner). You can even also separate clothes, shoes, and all other implements by using such travel organizers.

Medical and Personal Care Kits

Of course, it is always best to bring medical and personal kits. Over-the-counter drugs like pain relievers and antihistamines are essential inclusions. If you are suffering from a specific ailment like hypertension and heart disease, you should also include them in your kit. Sleep aids, like melatonin must be remembered, as well. You should also include a small bottle of shampoo, a toothpaste tube, a toothbrush, and a tiny bar of soap.

Food Packets

Finally, bring some food packets as well. It is always wise to include a pack or two of food and a bottle of water each time you travel. You can, of course, purchase food along the way. However, you never know when you suddenly get to feel hungry, and an emergency packet of food or a small bottle of water can surely save the day.

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