When you have a rental property, you want to make sure that the tenant you choose is as respectful of the space as you would be. Finding the right tenant means not having to worry about damages to the home or having to chase a person for rent every month.
What the right tenant looks like will depend on the rental itself. If it's an inner-city apartment, you will attract a different demographic than a suburban house. In either case, there are a few things that you will want to look out for when assessing potential tenants.
Start by creating a well-written and attractive ad, including pictures that show your property in its best light without too much embellishment. If you present it well and showcase it as you would like it to be maintained, you’ll already be attracting tenants inclined to look after it and maintain its quality.
Think about including provisions to help thin the field of candidates to the best possible options. Add requirements such as:
A minimum household income of $55,000
A credit score of 650+
No previous evictions
Decide as well if you prefer the tenant be a non-smoker and/or have no pets and make it clear in your ad that these would be deal-breakers.
Once you’ve received interest, it’s time to vet your options.
It’s important to ask the right questions and request more information before you agree to offer up a contract. Digging a bit deeper helps you understand why your potential tenant is looking for a new space and if they will be the right person to take over a lease - and for how long.
Specific information you can ask for might include:
Proof of employment and previous employment history
Proving they are currently employed will show that they can pay the agreed-upon rental amount in a timely manner. By requesting their employment history, you’ll be able to see how often the potential tenant changes jobs. This may give you a good idea as to whether they’re a stable and reliable applicant.
By asking for references, you can speak to people who know the applicant personally. Work references may give you insight into their job stability and general level of reliability. Past landlord references will also be able to shed light on a tenant’s general respect for a rental property and their ability to keep up with monthly rent payments.
Ability to afford the rent
Even if you stipulate in the ad that you require a certain minimum household income, it’s important to ask for information to back up their claim that they can afford rent. Request a payslip or to speak to their employer. Also, take into account whether they will have a partner or flatmate that will also help cover rent and any other related expenses.
Make sure your prospective tenant is who they say they are. Ask for some form of government-issued identification to check the name/age of the applicant. If they are non-Australian, be sure to ask for documentation that confirms their visa status. This will prove their legal entitlement to reside in-country for the term of your lease.
Don’t be afraid to go on simple gut instinct as well. Sometimes you may get the feeling that a person just isn’t right even if on paper they check all the boxes. It’s better to trust yourself than to enter into an agreement you may regret later.
If you are overwhelmed with the prospect of finding a tenant or have multiple properties that you need rented out, a platform such as Instarent may be the missing link. The online service allows you to manage your properties with ease. You can add listings to partner sites, hire photographers and writers to craft your ads, and use the app to help you find reliable applicants. Once you’ve found the perfect person, the platform also assists with management by running entry/exit inspections, hiring tradies, and offering real-time communication between landlords and tenants.
Want to make sure you are attracting the right applicants? Chat to one of our expert property managers today to see how we can help you choose the right tenant for your property.