We’ve all heard horror stories about the tenants from hell. A Current Affair would have been culled from the Nine Network’s lineup years ago were it not for these stories of trash-filled, squalid homes and tenants who refuse to leave.
While these epic battles between landlords and their tenants might be extreme cases, disputes like these but on a smaller scale are a regular occurrence all around the country. Spending a bit of extra time selecting the right tenant for your property from the get-go is the best way to ensure you don’t end up in one of these sticky situations further down the track.
Generally speaking the majority of tenants are well behaved and clean people, however there are a small percentage of people who increase the risk of renting out your investment property. We spoke with Andrew a Brisbane property management expert about how you can ensure you don’t get stuck with a tenant from hell. Here is what he has to say:
Meet the Potential Tenant in Person
You can usually get a vibe about a person from meeting them in person. They might seem shifty, or you might just not feel comfortable around them, which is a good enough reason to not let them move onto your property. As a property manager I meet a lot of renters and I can usually tell which ones are clean and well-behaved and which ones are going to be a hassle to deal with.
Ensure you meet any potential tenant in person before signing anything. That way you’ll have a better idea of what they are like and how you expect they will behave.
Check their History
Generally prospective tenants will give you references. Make sure you get in contact with all of them to see what they have to say. People won’t usually add people to their reference list unless they expect a positive review, but you may be able to “read-between-the-lines” or even get some stories out of the referee that may give you a better idea about the personalities of the prospective tenants.
Also make sure you do a background check on them the make sure they do not have any serious criminal history. This could save you from some major hassles in the long run.
Ask for the Maximum Bond Allowed
There are legal restrictions on how much bond is allowed to be, but why ask for any less than the maximum. In Queensland the landlords and property managers are restricted to taking a maximum of 4 times the weekly rent as bond. Why take any less? If your tenants are responsible they will get it all back when they move out again anyway.
Take these steps and you are much more likely to get a responsible, decent tenant in your rental property. If you are not a good judge of character, get someone you trust; a friend or someone from your local property management agency to speak with the applicants on your behalf. A little bit of extra effort when choosing a tenant can save you a lot of money, time and stress in the long run, so don’t be lazy!