SELECTING THE RIGHT TENANT
The Selection Process
It can be hard to select the right tenant - someone who will take care of your property and fulfill all their obligations. So before you sign a tenancy agreement, make sure you do the following to ensure that you've picked the best tenant.
A Pre-Tenancy Application Form
Ask the prospective tenant to complete a pre-tenancy form. This form tells you their name, age, where they're living now, and their rental history. It also gives you permission to do a credit and/or background check. Make sure they fill this out with as much information as possible. With the form take a photo copy of their I.D. and make sure that it matches what is written on the form. If it doesn't they may be trying to hide the fact that they've had disputes at the tenancy tribunal.
Have a chat
While the prospective tenant is taking a look around the property, or calling to enquire about a property, make sure you talk to them. Use this time to get a feel for their personality and see if they are the kind of tenant you are looking for. Ask them about their work, how they like the property and any other basic getting-to-know-you questions.
Ask for at least two references (you can do this on the pre-tenancy form). They can be from a previous landlord, a friend, a co-worker, their employer, or any one that knows them well. Preferably one of the references would be from a previous landlord, but there are situations where this isn't possible. Just remember to be flexible.
If you give a referee a call, use this time to get an idea of a potential tenant's behavior. Always check if it is a good time for the referee to talk (if it's not, ask for a good time to call back)\ and be alert for the following when talking to a referee:
- unusual hesitations
- ambiguous or evasive responses
- negative or vindictive responses
- overly enthusiastic responses
If you get the impression that the referee isn't being completely honest with you you may wish to speak to further referees. Don't forget to thank them for their time.
Check their credit history
This can be costly if you're only doing it a few times a year; in that case you can ask a potential tenant to supply their own credit check. Look around and find a provider that works best for you and your needs
Check if they have been to the Tenancy Tribunal
You might want to ask the potential tenant if they've ever been to the tenancy tribunal before. You may want to talk about:
- why they went
- if they were the applicant or had an application made against them
- the fact that you will check their names and previous addresses they have given you on the Tenancy Tribunal orders website.
The quick tips
- Be aware that you can't discriminate
- Never skip the checks because a tenant offers extra rent upfront
- Never accept the tenants application before all the checks are done
- Always fulfill all legal requirements
- Always do the checks
Finding the perfect tenants can be overwhelming and difficult. However, our experienced property managers are here to help. They can find you the perfect tenants, take care of all the checks and paperwork, and handle any maintenance the property may require. So let us take care of the hard part, while you relax and enjoy the stress-free life of owning a rental property. Click here to find a property manager in your area.