How to choose the right tenant

Picking the right tenant for your investment can be a tough decision – this can be the case whether you have lots of quality applicants on paper. It can also be complicated by your past experience as a rental provider – especially if you’ve experienced the impacts of a poor tenancy. Whether you had to make significant repairs to the property due to tenant damage, or, you’ve had a tenant that seems to complain about everything – each item just after you’ve sent a trade out to fix the last issue! Both can be extra stressful. Enlisting the help of an experienced property manager can ensure you avoid the majority of these issues. With advice based on plenty of people experience and great detective skills – a quality property manager they’ll keep the following things in mind to make sure you choose a high-quality tenant, ideally who’ll not only look after your property, but will stick around renting your property for a while.

Present your property well

Making sure you’re trying to lease a quality investment should make the job of securing a quality tenant that much easier. Ensuring all maintenance and repairs are completed before the property is listed and open for inspection (whether it’s a virtual inspection or not depending on restrictions at the time) will help you attract people who will take the same diligent care of your property. If this means you need to wait a week or two for the current (messy) tenants to move out, sometimes this can be worth the wait. A high-quality tenant can better visualise themselves living in the home if it’s well presented.

Waiting for the right time does not mean you’re doing nothing however – you can advertise the property with your high quality advertising photos and video, and invite applicants for pre-approval – booking in private inspections for when you know the property will be able to be presented at its best.

Property managers people watch

Whether we like it or not, first impressions count. Property managers people watch to gather more information. When it comes time for an open home, make sure your property manager observes the attendees and notes who is organised with their application. For example, you may have an awesome applicant on paper – fantastic high earning job, professional – but if they turn up to the open and but their cigarette but out on the letterbox before coming in… you get the idea. Families can also make great applicants, but if the children run through the open home bending the blinds and tugging on cords and the parents do nothing (leaving your poor property manager to make sure they don’t touch stuff they shouldn’t).

Another note to add here – you need to make sure that you’re with an agent where the property managers are the one’s doing the opens. Some agencies use casual staff for opens and inspections that have minimal if any real estate experience – even if they observe and note any concerning behaviour or traits, they may not pass this back to the property manager.

Read between the lines

Experienced property manager will be able to read between the lines on rental applications. The most common one is applicants that look great, but you notice that the address on a drivers licence isn’t listed on the application itself – why avoid providing info on one of the properties you’ve lived in? If an applicant has lived in a handful of properties over the last couple of years, for example, this may raise some alarm bells. The applicant in that instance may have a genuine explanation, such as moving around for work – but this is easily explained with work references. As applications are processed, your property manager will pick up things like this and make sure a person is truthful, and any red flags are addressed.

Trust your instinct!

If you and your property manager aren’t getting a good feeling about an applicant, it may be time to move on and keep attracting some better-suited tenants to your property. While this may mean waiting a little longer before you find a tenant, taking some more time to find a quality tenant while the property is vacant is much better in the long run than rushing and approving a problem tenant. Problem tenants stay a problem for your entire lease unless they breach the agreement significantly enough to warrant eviction (such as malicious damage, illegal use of premises or non-payment of rent).

Finding a quality tenant can feel elusive sometimes, but with your property manager’s advice and experience, they’ll be able to make sure you take your time and find a tenant that will take just as much care for your property as you would.

Remember, this article does not constitute financial or legal advice. Please consult your professional financial and legal advisors before making any decisions for yourself.