How to find the right tenant

By Anouska Linz
Finding the right tenant can be like finding the right partner, it can take time and it’s not always easy. Although you want your property to be tenanted, you still want to make sure you find someone who is going to be responsible and look after your property.

It is important to find out as much relevant information as possible before making a decision. Glancing over a person’s application form may not be enough research. By meeting with potential tenants or speaking to them over the phone, you can get an insight into where they stand financially as well as their personality. This is also a great way to identify if they have had any problems with other rental properties in the past.

There are several questions you can ask potential tenants which may give you a better insight. Some areas where you can ask questions include:

Employment situation
The last thing you would want is to approve a tenant and then find out they cannot afford the rent. It is important the tenant has a steady income that can cover the rent. You may want to enquire about how long they have been at their job – the longer they have been in the same position, the more stable they may be.

Reason for moving
This is a great way to keep casual conversation going, but it can also help reveal any possible issues. For example, if a potential tenant has a lot of complaints about their previous rental property and speaks negatively about the landlord it could be an indication that they are not easy to deal with.

It is a good idea to speak with a potential tenant’s employer and past landlord’s to verify that what the tenant has told you is correct. For example, a tenant may have said that they decided to move out to be closer to work or school, but in actual fact, they were evicted. References can also give you information that the tenant may have forgotten to tell you.

If they have pets
Pets have unfortunately got a bad reputation when it comes to rental properties. Many landlords don’t want to allow pets in their properties as they are worried about the possible damage. However, having a pet-friendly property can be a valuable asset. As not all rental properties are pet friendly, you may be able to charge a higher rent. But at the same time, you can still apply certain rules to protect your property if it is damaged.

Previous experiences with rentals
It is important to ask questions about their previous rental properties first and then confirm what they have said with previous landlords. If they are reluctant to give you contact details for their landlord, it may be a sign that they are trying to hide something.

Do they have questions?
Even though you want to find a tenant that is going to look after your property, at the same time, you still want to find someone who is comfortable with communicating with you. If they know they can openly ask questions and discuss concerns with you at the beginning, they it may help stop any issues down the track from getting out of control. 

Anouska Linz is Manager, Online Sales at State Custodians and has over 10 years’ experience in financial services, both in broking and banking. Holding a bachelors degree in accounting, Anouska quickly discovered a love for mortgage lending and assisting people to achieve their home ownership goals. She leads a team of highly experienced lending specialists who are passionate about finding lending solutions which result in real wins for the customer. She is also a massive netball fan.

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