As a property investor finding fantastic tenants that are honest, reliable, clean, responsible and trustworthy is something we all aspire to.
Somewhere along the way though – if we are not very lucky – we can lose real time and money dealing with challenging tenants.
So how do you go about finding fantastic tenants, and reducing your risk of something going wrong?
Keep in mind that your property manager – assuming you are not doing this role yourself – should take up the slack and provide the services to manage many of the items below – but having a checklist of these things as the owner, to allow you to keep an eye on the detail, and the effectiveness of your property manager, is a good idea.
So here are our top tips for finding fantastic tenants.
Get the Property Ready to Rent
Start by making sure the property is fully ready to be occupied. The better the condition the property at the start of any lease, the more likely you are to find better tenants, and to achieve the best possible price.
The most important tip for finding good tenants is considering the important detail of the property before you have them move in.
- Are the services you are providing such as water working?
- Are any furnishings or whitegoods you are supplying in good working order?
- Make sure everything in the kitchen and bathroom are functioning well
- Fix any leaks, including any dripping taps with new washers
- The cleaner the property is at the beginning, the more the tenants will respect it, and are more likely to keep it to that standard
- Make sure the locks are secure and tight, and you have working sets of keys to distribute
- Ensure outdoor areas are up to scratch and the maintenance schedule is clear and organised
- Is it freshly painted and colour co-ordinated? Softer, pastel colours make spaces look bigger and cleaner. It’s hard to go past fresh white walls
- Check all curtains or blinds are working smoothly
- Good durable flooring and mats at the doors to protect it are always worthwhile
- Consider the detail in each room – consider that small things at this point can make a big difference to the rent-ability of the place
Know the market – set the right price, with the right photos, in the right place
- Talk with your Property manager or local real estate agent about similar properties and their current rental value.
- Also check www.domain.com.au and www.realestate.com.au for similar properties in your area In advertising the property, make sure you have professional images made, and the property looking its best
- Where will the property be advertised? Consider the best forums such as the websites above, as well as local groups and media such as local newspapers and relevant Facebook pages. Your Property Manager or Real Estate agent should know the best local options.
Credit and reference checks
- Any tenants should fill in an appropriate application, and include details of their employment, plus relevant references from previous landlords and character references
- The property manager should check these details and references
- Weigh up important considerations like their work and financial security – as well as their character
- Many property management agencies have access to a tenant database. They provide data if a tenant has had any legal action filed against them previously and perhaps if there are any other issues that have been reported.
Take plenty of photos of the property
Take plenty of photographs before any tenant moves in. These photos can be used as evidence if there are any disputes over the condition of the property or any breakages or missing items discovered during an inspection.
Schedule regular inspections
Once you have a tenant you will need to inspect the property regularly. Organise in advance how often the property manager will do these pre-arranged inspections – and be sure to get proper feedback on this.
Get landlord insurance
Landlord insurance is designed to protect your property against loss, theft and damage. There are also policies that can cover unpaid rent or legal costs of chasing it up. This can be worthwhile and worth investigating. Talk to a licensed insurance broker to find the best options for you.