5 Investor tips for choosing the right tenant

Many property owners underestimate the value of good tenants, until they get bad ones that is!

By Jade Tweedie

05-02-2018 |
Many property owners underestimate the value of good tenants, until they get bad ones that is! There are a number of important things to consider when choosing a tenant and a bad choice can end up being a disaster. Your Property Manager should be offering guidance and advice, but the decision is always a landlord’s, so here are 5 quick tips for choosing the right tenant!

1. Make a wish list

When rental properties are in demand, you can be inundated with good applications, making the selection process overwhelming. Before your Property Manager publishes your vacancy, give some thought to who your ideal tenant might be. Consider the demographic in the area. If your property is near a university, then ruling out students might limit your options for example. Many tenants will be renting with pets too and this is not necessarily a bad thing.

Tenants with pets tend to stay longer and pay a higher rent, plus tenant's with pets often come with a pet reference also. If pet's are accepted, your property manager should be putting a clause in place to protect you from a pet doing any damage and in our experience, 9 times out of 10, pet's are rarely an issue. One important thing to note, especially in the area of Maitland, is by ruling out pet's totally, you will in essence cut out at least 70% - 80% of your rental market! That in itself will restrict your choice of great quality tenant's and can even hinder the length of time your property is vacant !

2. Looks may NOT be deceiving

It’s important to be objective where judgement is concerned but you can tell a lot about a person at first sight. Our Property Managers are experienced with using those instincts. We pay attention to things like whether they arrived at an appointment on time, whether they have the things they were asked to bring (or pre-registered online as many property websites now request). Our Property Managers also consider appearance. Someone who turns up late, disheveled and hung-over is certainly doing themselves no favours. It is not always about what is on paper, in essence there is so much more involved when it comes to tenant selection, and you can be sure we are 150% over all the elements involved !

3. Make sure they can pay the rent

A tenant that can pay the rent on time every week / month is crucial. Our Property Managers check financial information thoroughly. Self-employed people are well worth considering too as tenants. Because they can’t provide pay slips specifically, they will often give more comprehensive information such as balance sheets and bank statements to prove their capacity.

4. Do a detailed background check

On paper the basic facts can make it hard to get a sense of the real character of a person. In these days of social media, it is easy to search for someone online and get a sense of their lifestyle. If they have provided referees, Our Property Managers try to make sure there is at least one unbiased person and ideally a previous landlord or real estate agent we can call. Plus, we have access to databases where agents share information about problem tenants! If you have an agent that is not checking one of these, then you are more than putting yourself out on limb and at risk of a bad experience! Also, did you know, that by not ensuring a tenant is checked, this could heavily affect any landlord insurance you may already have in place ! Is you agent doing this ??? If you don't know, the question needs to be asked now !

5. Trust your instincts

The application process usually reveals whether someone will be easy or difficult to deal with. Some people are very relaxed about things like dripping taps or loose door handles – this is what you DON’T want. Alternatively, you don’t want someone calling to complain about every squeak in the floorboards. Tenants have the right to ask questions about a property, however, some questions can be unrealistic and over the top. If they ask a lot of questions that aren’t relevant, this may be a sign of things to come. Conversely, an applicant who provides all the information required, responds practically to questions and delivers further information as needed will more than likely be a pleasure to deal with over the longer term.

It’s all about talking the applicants over with your property manager, because we’re here to help you make the best choice and that’s why we’re Australia’s leader for overall satisfaction!

Now, the question is, is your Property Manager doing all this and more? If not, I strongly suggest an immediate meeting with them or it might be time to chat with someone else ! Got questions? No worries, call us anytime on 4933 5544 !