As Property Management Leader, Cassie truly believes in putting the customer first. And with 20 years experience in real estate, she brings a depth of knowledge and industry expertise.
Chances are, you’ve read horror stories about tenants trashing apartments or skipping town without paying a cent. While disputes between landlords and tenants are common, this ‘worst case’ scenario can certainly be avoided. Here’s how.
Define What a Quality Tenant Means to You
First of all, it makes sense to write down the attributes of quality tenants, as the basis for attracting them. For most investors, these include a proven ability to pay rent on time, evidence of commitment to leases, a demonstrable desire to look after a property and willingness to communicate about the property when required. You might also have unique stipulations, such as the number of people residing on the property and whether or not pets are permitted.
Attracting Quality Tenants
The number one way to attract quality tenants in the first place, is to ensure your investment property is also of high quality. A majority of tenants look for homes or apartments in locations with ease of access to transport, education, shopping and recreational facilities. It’s vitally important that your property is well-maintained, in order to attract tenants who’ll look after it for you. Setting a rental price that’s comparable to the local market is also essential, to avoid tenants overlooking your property in favour of the competition.
A well-maintained property helps to retain quality tenants.
Advertising and Screening Tenants
Screening tenants is best approached in the same way as a job interview.
A compelling, online listing is the first step to attracting the best tenants. Use professional photography to highlight your property’s benefits, especially those that offer lifestyle perks, like outdoor entertaining areas. Ensure you provide detailed descriptions, such as how close it is to a specific shopping centre, school or beach and energy-saving features of the home.
Screening tenants is best approached in the same way as a job interview. While you don’t want to base decisions solely on superficial assumptions, turning up late to inspections or cancelling without a valid reason, poor communication skills and lack of preparation, in terms of dress or required documents, can foretell irresponsibility.
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Remember that quality tenants are looking to impress you too, if it’s the right property for them. Most importantly, verify all sources of income and previous leases held, by asking for at least three professional references and personally speaking to all those listed.
Retaining Quality Tenants
Retaining quality tenants is the easy part, providing their expectations are met. Generally, this means ensuring that everything’s in good working order when they move in, and prompt action in regard to repairs needed. When you look after your property, tenants are much more likely to value it too, which includes paying rent on time. To preempt possible disputes, make sure all stipulations are clear upon signing a lease, such as who is responsible for maintaining the garden or for paying water and electricity bills.
If this is all too much, as standard, a property manager will offer services including all of the above, should you choose to handover the responsibility. However, use similar guidelines to hire a property manager who’ll treat your investment with the care it deserves.