A quick guide to picking tenants

By Brett White


Identify the organized couple who has their application prepared upon stepping into the property.  

Unfortunately some investors from time to time have the unfortunate experience of dealing with the tenant from hell. Finding a good tenant for your property is very important, and needs to be considered carefully from the outset.  
So how can you avoid the tenant from hell?  From the initial inspection and asking questions, to getting all the information you need on the Tenancy Application, here's a simple guide to help you find that tenant. 

Ask the right questions 
Asking the right questions begins the process of evaluating a tenant and finding a suitable fit for your property. You are entrusting them with looking after your asset during their tenancy, so you should take careful steps to ensure it wont be mistreated and that all required payments are made on time. 

Some of the must-ask questions are: 

  • Why are you moving? 
  • What's your current and previous employment situation? How much do you earn? 
  • Can you provide references from your employer and previous landlord?
  • How many people will be living in the property? Do you have pets? 
  • Have you ever been evicted? 
  • When would you want to move in? 
  • Do you have any questions? 

These are just some of the questions you should ask.  You don’t have to ask them this all at the initial viewing, but one way to extract all the answers is to include them in the application form. 

Attracting decent tenants 
We all want to attract decent tenants and what better way than with a decent property in decent condition. You don’t have to own a brand new, million-dollar property in a premium location to attract a good tenant. A clean and tidy property with all fixtures and fittings  in working order is a good start. 

Read between the lines and trust your gut 
Making a mental or a written note on who's who during the inspections. Identify the organized couple who has their application prepared upon stepping into the property. Also take note of information provided at the inspection when their application doesn't support it. 

When evaluating applications, read between the details. An application that shows someone has rented four different properties in 18 months may mean you have several references to pick from, but alarm bells should be ringing. Always confirm their employment status by phone and income evidence documents, investigate returned previous bonds and even their identification until you're sure that the applicant is indeed who they say they are. 

After all the background check and observation during the inspection, it's time to evaluate each applicant. If you don't have a good feeling supported by strong evidence towards a certain applicant, it is best to move on to the next one. If you're in a rush to have the property rented, reducing the rent a bit and making sure it's in line with the market is important to ensure you receive good applications.  It’s better to wait for the right tenant than letting a potentially bad tenant in your property.