A spare bedroom may get in for you thousands of dollars, but is it worth renting it out?

There are eight million spare bedrooms across Australia, with almost 80 per cent of households leaving at least one room empty, an analysis of census data shows.

With the average cost of renting a room at more than $200 a week in 2017, this could add up to more than $10,000 a year into the pocket of home owners, Finder spokeswoman Bessie Hassan said.

”Renting out a spare bedroom could earn you $958 a month towards monthly mortgage repayments or household bills,” she said.

Renting out a room in your home can be lucrative, but there may be implications for the property owner and the tenant. Photo: Jim Rice

In total, 5.6 million owner-occupied homes and 2 million rental properties have more rooms than they need for its occupants.

It could also save renters money – equalling to a saving of about $3500 a year compared to the cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment.

Cost of renting a room in major cities

Weekly rent Annual rent
Sydney $289 $15,028
Darwin $225 $11,700
Melbourne $216 $11,232
Gold Coast $201 $10,452
Canberra $194 $10,088
Wollongong $193 $10,036
Brisbane $193 $10,036
Sunshine Coast $184 $9568
Perth $184 $9568
Newcastle $176 $9152
Cairns $173 $8996
Hobart $167 $8684
Adelaide $164 $8428
Townsville $156 $8112
Geelong $153 $7956

Source: Flatmates.com.au, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Finder

Room rent calculated as a weighted average by taking into account weekly rent and population of different regions.

But is it as straightforward as it sounds?

What home owners should know

Renting out a room can quickly net a home owner a substantial sum.

But while it might help owners pay off a mortgage when they have one – the promise of extra cash from the spare room won’t be considered extra income by the bank when they’re looking to buy in the first place.

As a result those whose income is less than necessary for their dream home won’t be able to point to rental income to get them across the line, Dream Financial mortgage broker Paul Bevan said.

And for those who want to use the income from a rented room to take on an additional loan will also face difficulties.

“There’s only one specialist lender that will consider this type of income and it’s limited to $100 a week and the owner would need to show a lease agreement and that the rental income has been declared in their tax return,” Mr Bevan said.

The additional income would also have an impact when it comes to tax time, and potentially when selling the home, which should be considered before leasing a room.

The income from the spare room has to be declared to the ATO at the end of financial year, and therefore it could be taxable, VJR & Associates and Keshab Chartered Accountants accountant Jeremy Iannuzzelli said.

“It is also an implication for the capital gains tax status of your home,” Mr Iannuzzelli said.

Usually, your home is exempt from capital gains tax – but if you use it to earn income then this may no longer be the case.

In many situations, capital gains tax could be charged pro-rata based on the proportion of the property that was rented, he said.

For instance, if 10 per cent of the property was rented for the entire time you owned your home – then tax may be charged on 10 per cent of the capital gains. The ATO has a tool for working this out.

And, alike to an investment property, the home owner can claim pro rata tax deductions based on the percentage of the space available for rent.

“This would be the same if you rented out a granny flat,” he said.

Renting out a spare room to a tenant isn’t the only way to cash in on unused rooms in the house.

Spare bedrooms, attics, sheds, driveways and storage cages could also be rented out to those looking for storage options, Spacer chief executive Mike Rosenbaum said.

In urban areas, this could net between $250 and $350 a month – without having someone live in the property, which Mr Rosenbaum said would suit empty nesters and retirees.

“Families are also renting out storage cages and garages to help pay for bills, and city professionals who tend to catch Uber instead of driving a car, rent out their spare parking space for extra cash,” he said.

For those renting out a room for any purpose, it’s also crucial to consider insurance policies that cover this activity.

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What renters should know

For those who choose to rent a room in someone’s home, there may be some difficulty determining whether they would be legally considered a lodger or a tenant, Tenants Union of NSW senior policy officer Ned Cutcher said.

This definition has a significant impact on the rights of the renter, including notice periods and how bonds are kept.

“The old common law test of ‘exclusive possession’ doesn’t apply to tenancy agreements as defined in the Residential Tenancies Act, but boarders and lodgers are expressly excluded from the Act’s coverage,” he said.

The new test – known as “mastery of premises” – relates to whether the landlord reserves the right to access the room. In this situation, in NSW the tenant is not protected under the Tenancies Act.

In most cases, a renter is most likely considered a tenant if they can lock the room, do not get meals or linen as part of the agreement, have their own cooking facilities and are not subject to “house rules”.

In most other states, including Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia, the specific Tenancy Act does not apply to boarders and lodgers.

Henry Sapiecha

Geneva bank toilets flush with laundered dirty money

FILE PHOTO: A magazine cut-out of a toilet roll made up of paper money, is taped to a screen of a trading terminal at the German stock exchange in Frankfurt, June 3, 2009. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: A magazine cut-out of a toilet roll made up of paper money, is taped to a screen of a trading terminal at the German stock exchange in Frankfurt, June 3, 2009. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo

GENEVA (Reuters) – Geneva prosecutors are investigating after toilets in a bank and three restaurants were blocked by about $100,000 in high-denomination euro banknotes, they said on Monday.

“We are not so interested in the motive but we want to be sure of the origin of the money,” spokesman Vincent Derouand said, adding that neither throwing money away nor blocking a toilet was a crime.

The Tribune de Geneve newspaper, which first reported the unusual deposit, said the first blockage occurred in the toilet serving the vault at UBS bank (UBSG.S) in Geneva’s financial district, and three nearby bistros found their facilities bunged up with 500-euro notes a few days later.

Derouand said two people had agreed to compensate the restaurants for the costs of the blockage, and the restaurants had withdrawn a complaint that they made when the incident happened in May.

The cash was confiscated during the investigation and it was unclear who would get it if it was found to be lawful. There was no immediate reason to think it was dirty money, Derouand said.

The European Central Bank said last year it had decided to discontinue the 500-euro note because of concerns that it was being used too often for illicit activities including money laundering.

A UBS spokesman declined to comment.

Henry Sapiecha

‘Credit repair’ agencies charge big money for what you easily can do yourself

Hi Nicole, I’m not sure why but I was just turned down for a car loan. I have a steady $80,000-a-year income. I don’t have much in savings but have started putting away $200 a fortnight. I suspect there might be something dodgy on my credit record back from my student days. I called a credit repair service I found – please don’t name them – that says they can clean up my credit file. I’d have to pay $1200 but they say I should be able to get my car after that. Is this a good idea? – Mike, Maroubra

No Mike… if this is not a scam, it’s darn close to it.

Has your debt levels spiralled out of control & gone off the rails? Then read this to FIX it.

So-called credit repair agencies have the same ability to rescue your record as you do yourself. Many will also try and migrate you onto other products – everything from a “budget management” program where you hand over your purse/wallet strings “for your own good”, to a negotiated “debt agreement” (if you were struggling with repayments) that’s extreme and similar to bankruptcy.

For this they’ll charge nose-bleed upfront fees and in many cases hit you with ransom-like, last-minute demands for more money.

But in the words of the Consumer Action Law Centre, which often deals with the messy aftermath: “These predatory companies are flourishing in a regulatory void. The current laws don’t prevent the harm.”

Do this instead Mike

1. Obtain a free copy of your credit report from Equifax (Veda rebranded), Experian or Dunn and Bradstreet. Don’t be fooled into paying for this; you’re entitled to one snail mail copy a year (and Dun and Bradstreet will even email it after a three-day delay).

Also for free you can get your credit rating itself – yes, we’re like the US now with a score and, increasingly, interest rates are based on it – from finder.com.au. But you’ll need to create an account and (as with all such services) should expect emails from them.

2. Go through this with a fine-toothed comb. What’s on there that has hurt you? A bill missed by 60 days or more? Perhaps your name was on a share house utility … and your flatmates skipped out on it? It will be five years before this is expunged from your history – and (sorry) you’ll need to pay any outstanding debt.

3: Checking for errors is the only potential quick fix. Contact the provider first, then its ombudsman if necessary and finally a credit reporting agency to correct the mistake.

Meanwhile, don’t make more loan applications until you’re squeaky clean – they’ll drive your score down further. And take heart: Australia’s consumer ministers have just resolved to look at regulating debt management firms and announced a consumer education campaign to publicise the free alternatives. National Debt Helpline: 1800 007 007 or ndh.org.au.

Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon is a money educator and consumer advocate: themoneymentorway.com. You can write to her for help solving your money problem, or with a consumer question, at nicolehelps@fairfaxmedia.com.au.

Australian Wins Mega-Millions $1.3M Prize in Lotto-Land Draw

It was officially American Independence Day, but for one Australian, the fourth of July will be forever celebrated as the day she declared financial independence!

The 56-year-old Melbournian collected a whopping $1,315,650.04 for successfully matching five from five main numbers betting on the monster American MegaMillions Lottery.

The Victorian’s win becomes the single biggest prize claimed by a Lottoland member since the company launched in Australia last year.

Learn more about Lottoland’s lucky winner below plus how you can grab your slice of the jaw-dropping MegaMillions Jackpot.

How a Melbourne Mum Won Mega-Large on MegaMillions

“I’m numb. It’s happening? It’s happening to me?”

This was the first reaction of our lucky winner after being informed she had just won a jaw-dropping $1.31 million thanks to her bet on the Mega Millions lottery.

The grandmother to eleven signed up to Lottoland in January of this year and has been betting across the full range of Australian and International lotteries since. While she had collected a number of smaller wins, nothing could have prepared her for the life-changing sum that was about to come her way.

The lucky Lottoland member’s MegaMillions bet successfully matched 5 from 5 main numbers – 16, 39, 47, 53, 71. Her “completely random” set of numbers were enough to earn her the massive Division 2 prize – a staggering $1,315,650.04.

“I received a phone call from Lottoland and I was ecstatic,” said the new millionaire.

She immediately informed her husband of the exciting news and started making plans for her newfound freedom.

“I’m going to visit my family in Romania – I haven’t been there in 20 years – and maybe I’ll buy a house,” she added.

A big congratulations to our winner from everyone at Lottoland!

Winner Uses Subscription Feature to Win

Our Melbourne mum noted she has the Lottoland Subscription feature to thank for her win.

Subscription allows you the opportunity to register your chosen numbers for a set number of draws on your chosen lottery. For example, if you wanted to bet with the same numbers on MegaMillions for 6 weeks, you can set this up with a Subscription and Lottoland will take care of the rest for you.

Subscription allows you to rest easy knowing that you will never miss a bet on your favourite draw, just like our lucky Victorian above! You can amend your subscription as you go and opt out at any time. Find out more about subscriptions.

Download the App and Get Winning

Thanks to Lottoland, Australians now have the opportunity to win the gigantic jackpots that are offered in overseas lotteries. Why win a million when you can win a billion, right?

Whether it’s US Power, EuroMillions or MegaMillions, you now have the opportunity to win a jaw-dropping amount of cash.

The Lottoland App allows you to bet on local and overseas lotteries and is available for both iPhone and Android smartphones. Get it from the App store today, and start winning millions on your mobile tomorrow!

How Can I Win MegaMillions?

Despite the $1.3m MegaMillions win being more than what Australians can collect winning the jackpot on the local Monday/Wednesday lotto, it was actually only the Division 2 prize! The MegaMillions Division 1 Jackpot wasn’t won and climbs to a mind-boggling US $186 million* (approx. $245 million*) this Saturday.

To win the MegaMillions Jackpot, you need to pick 5 numbers from a range of 1-75 and one MegaBall from a range of 1-15. Match all five main numbers and the MegaBall and you will be rolling in a ridiculous amount of cash!

Our lucky Melbournian was actually just one ball away from winning the MegaBall Jackpot and being instantly catapulted into an Australian rich list. Her chosen MegaBall was the number 2, but had she selected the number 15, the MegaMillions jackpot was hers! Still, who can argue with a $1,315,650.04

GO HERE TO LOTTOLAND DIRECT <<<<<<<<

Henry Sapiecha

‘If you don’t use cash, this won’t work’: Blogger amasses $50,000 with $5 savings hint

EVERY time you pay for something at the store and get change, save your $5 notes.

Put it away somewhere. Don’t spend it. At the end of each month, deposit your hoarded fives into a separate bank account.

Journalism professor Marie C. Franklin, who champions the idea on her blog “Save Money Fast With Fives”, has saved nearly $50,000 ($US40,000) by following this rule for the past 13 years.

Franklin said she first came up with the idea while putting two daughters through college and struggling to balance the family budget. “I made a decision that forever changed my relationship to money,” she wrote.

“Every time someone handed me a five-dollar bill I hid it away. I refused to spend it under any circumstance and started accumulating those fives, first in a separate compartment of my wallet, and then, as the pile grew, in an envelope.

“As the $5s started adding up, I put them in a separate bank account. Within weeks, I had a nice little stash, more than $200. Then $350. Then $500. By the end of the first year, I had saved almost $2000.”

She points out that $5 every day for a year works out to $1825 — two $5s and you’re looking at $3650. “Save five bucks a day until you turn 75 years old, assuming you’re 25 years old today, and that five dollar account, without adding in any compounded interest if you kept the money in a piggy bank, would be worth $91,250,” she writes.

And yes, obviously it means you need to start paying for things in cash. For millennials used to a cashless existence, that means shaking things up.

“You may love the idea of saving your nest egg with $5 bills but unless you use cash on a regular basis for everyday purchases like groceries, food or coffee to go, even gas and other issues of commuting and transportation, it will be impossible to save a significant amount this way,” she writes.

“Only cash will do the trick. End of story. Go to the ATM. Take out enough cash to cover the basic expenses you expect to face in the next seven days. Pay for as many things as you can in cash.

“Consume as you need, rather than simply buying out of habit. See how many $5s you get back in a week. If you like the number, repeat it into week two, then a third. At the end of the month, add it up.”

If you want to speed things up, she recommends a number of tricks to maximise your $5s, including paying for purchases less than $5 with a $10 or $20, or asking for two $5s instead of a $10 when getting change.

Others have found success with the $5 trick. Writing on Reddit, one user said they saved $2285 in five years, while another said they saved $1500 in six months.

“Working at a pizza shop and collecting tips I knew it’d be perfect,” wrote another. “From May to August of this year, I tried to bring home as many fives as I could. [In] mid-August, I cashed in all my fives and had over $525! Very easy way for anyone to start saving money.”

Henry Sapiecha

‘Lotto hot spot’: FRASER COAST $30M jackpot is another win for Qld town a la LOTTO-LAND

UPDATE, 4PM: Hervey Bay has cemented its place as one of hot-spots for big lotto wins.

Golden Casket narrowed the state-wide search for Queensland’s $30 million winner to Hervey Bay late this afternoon, sparking even more interest in the win.

The entry was the only division one-winning entry in Oz Lotto draw 1229 on Tuesday, September 5, but the entry was unregistered.

Wife didn’t believe husband when he said they’d won $1.6 million

The $30 million win is the second division one win to land in the Fraser Coast region during the past five days.

On the weekend, a retired Hervey Bay woman won $1.6 million in the Saturday Gold Lotto $20 Million Superdraw.

UPDATE, 11AM: Golden Casket narrowed the state-wide search for Queensland’s mystery millionaire to the Fraser Coast.

The entry was the only division one-winning entry in Oz Lotto draw 1229 on Tuesday, September 5, but the entry was unregistered.

Wife didn’t believe husband when he said they’d won $1.6 million

The $30 million win is the second division one win to land in the Fraser Coast region during the past five days.

On the weekend, a retired Hervey Bay woman won $1.6 million in the Saturday Gold Lotto $20 Million Superdraw.

The Fraser Coast region also holds the record for having sold Australia’s single biggest individual lottery win. In January, 2016, Hervey Bay grandparents won the $70 million division one Powerball jackpot prize.

BIG LOTTO WINS: Are we the lucky region?

The couple won the entire jackpot prize.

EARLIER: A MYSTERY Queenslander won Oz Lotto’s entire $30 million jackpot but may not know they are now a multi-millionaire.

The entry was the only division one-winning entry in Oz Lotto draw 1229 on Tuesday, September 5, but the entry was unregistered.

Wife didn’t believe husband when he said they’d won $1.6 million

Golden Casket has urged all Queenslanders to check their tickets.

“It’s hard to believe, but someone out there woke up this morning a multi-millionaire – but they may not know it yet!” Golden Casket spokesperson Matt Hart said.

“We can’t wait to confirm this whopping prize with our mystery winner! Just imagine how $30 million could change your life and the lives of your nearest and dearest.

“There are 30 million reasons why all Queensland players who had an entry in last night’s draw should check their ticket this morning.

“If you discover you’re holding the division one winning Oz Lotto entry, hold on tight to that ticket and phone 131 868 as soon as possible so that we can start the prize claim process.”

The winning numbers were 16, 45, 4, 35, 8, 28 and 27. The supplementary numbers were 22 and 34.

Henry Sapiecha

Mystery Queenslander wins the complete $40M Oz Lotto jackpot!

UPDATE @ 11.15am: The hunt is on for the winner of last night’s entire $40 million Oz Lotto jackpot prize, with Golden Casket narrowing the search to the tropical Far North Queensland city of Cairns.

Earlier this morning Golden Casket revealed a Queensland entry had won the humungous Oz Lotto prize but with still no sign of the mystery winner, the selling city has now been revealed.

The entry, purchased at a Cairns Golden Casket outlet, was not registered to a Winners Circle Card so the identity of the new multi-millionaire remains a mystery.

Golden Casket is urging all Cairns residents and visitors who purchased a ticket in last night’s Oz Lotto draw to check their tickets.

EARLIER @ 8.30am: One Queenslander won the entire $40 million Oz Lotto jackpot last night, however the identity of the new multi-millionaire remains a mystery as the entry was unregistered.

The Queensland entry was the only division one winner, in what was the third highest Australian lottery jackpot of the year.

Queenslanders who purchased a ticket in the draw are being urged to check their tickets immediately.

Golden Casket spokesperson Matt Hart said he was eagerly waiting for Australia’s newest multi-millionaire to make contact and start the prize claim process.

“With $40 million up for grabs, last night’s Oz Lotto draw was one of the most hotly anticipated draws of the year and one Queensland player won it all!” he said.

“We can’t wait to confirm the humongous prize with our mystery winner! Just imagine how $40 million might change your life and the lives of your nearest and dearest.

“There are 40 million reasons why all Queensland players who had an entry in last night’s draw should check their ticket this morning.

“If you discover you’re holding the division one winning entry, hold on tight to that ticket and phone 131 868 as soon as possible so that we can start the prize claim process!”

We are on the hunt for x1 $40 Million unregistered QLD

Henry Sapiecha

MYSTERY WINNER OF $1.6M LOTTERY WIN IN HERVEY BAY QUEENSLAND AUSTRALIA

ARE you the lucky winner of $1.6 million?

Torquay IGA & News has shared the exciting news that it has sold a winning division one lotto ticket.

The draw was for Saturday night and the lucky winner has $1.6 million waiting to be claimed.

“If you got a ticket from us last night, come on in and get your ticket checked, you may just be holding that winning ticket!” the post reads.

The winning lotto numbers on Saturday night were 21, 22, 23, 16, 17, 44 with bonus numbers 30 and 2.

Henry Sapiecha

Crystal Car Wash boss Anthony Sahade in a lather over council fine

Crystal Carwash boss Anthony Sahade is used to courtroom soap operas.

Mr Sahade, a Point Piper millionaire who has been in and out of Sydney courts for years over neighbourhood disputes on Australia’s wealthiest street, has most recently been in a lather about a fine from Randwick Council..He was expanding his wash facilites to cater for dogs

The council found an unauthorised dog washing set-up, including a basin and a fence, had been installed at a Crystal Car Wash site in Coogee in March 2015, and ordered its removal.

Mr Sahade then sought and was granted council approval for the dog grooming facility, and refused to pay a $1500 fine for the initial unapproved installation.

The matter went to court and his company Lenjade was convicted and fined $12,000, with $8000 legal costs.

Mr Sahade appealed the decision and last week the Land and Environment Court acquitted Lenjade, ruling there was not enough evidence to prove Mr Sahade directly authorised the development.

During the hearings, Mr Sahade likened managing franchisees to fatherhood.

“I tell my son, ‘You have to be home by 10 o’clock’ but he comes home at 11 o’clock and he uses his discretion and he’s sensible then it’s not a punishable sin. It’s no different to the franchisee having a go at putting a dog wash in to enhance his business,” Mr Sahade said.

“Even though it’s prohibited within the lease it’s not something that’s worth punishing him [for] because he’s doing what’s best for his business and what’s best for his business ultimately profits the whole Crystal Carwash chain.”

It is the latest in a string of legal proceedings involving Mr Sahade.

In 2014, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal ordered Mr Sahade and his son Victor not to “threaten or act in an aggressive manner” towards their neighbours on a battleaxe block on Wolseley Road.

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Senior member Richard Buckley said that, since May 2005, Mr Sahade’s conduct had been “characterised by a lack of civility, arrogance, threatening behaviour, a disdain for the rights of other lot owners and a disregard for the obligations imposed” by strata laws.

The same year, the Federal Court fined Crystal Carwash for underpaying workers by almost $180,000.

In 2012, Woollahra Council took Mr Sahade to court over a staircase at his mansion, which was built without permission.

Two months later, as Mr Sahade and a carpenter demolished the steps, a physical fight broke out with a neighbour.

CCTV footage of the fight captured Mr Sahade telling the neighbour: “You’re a goner”, various courts heard.

A magistrate dismissed assault charges against the car wash boss.

Henry Sapiecha

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Henry Sapiecha