5 tips to avoid choosing the wrong tenant

Wednesday 12 Sep 2018

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

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 will offer guidance but the decision is always a yours, so here are 5 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 tenants with pets tend to stay longer and pay a higher rent.

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. Property managers are experienced with using those instincts. They 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).

3. Make sure they can pay the rent

A tenant that can pay the rent on time every month is crucial. 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, Property Managers try to make sure there is at least one unbiased person and ideally a previous landlord or real estate agent they can call. Plus, they access databases where agents share information about problem tenants.

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.

DISCLAIMER: The following advice is of a general nature only and intended as a broad guide. The advice should not be regarded as legal, financial or real estate advice. You should make your own inquiries and obtain independent professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions.