A Guide to Finding the Right Tenant

When you own a property investment, you want peace of mind that you’ll find good tenants.  This isn’t hard to do, as long as you can take the time to match the right tenants with your property by establishing your target market, implementing a tenant strategy and thoroughly screening prospective candidates.  Using a property management company such as Ironfish can also help you to attract and choose the best possible tenants.

The following are some of the factors you can consider when looking for the right tenant for your property investment or briefing your property management company:

  • Type of tenant:  Professionals will be on your list of desired candidates as they have well paid responsible jobs, are conscientious and hard working. As a rule they want to stay in an area for a considerable time.  If you want to attract premium-paying tenants who are willing to pay a high weekly rent for your property, you need the right location, as well as modern designer kitchens, bathrooms, family and living rooms.  They also look for alfresco spaces for entertaining and handy storage.
  • Apply the Like-Attracts-Like Theory: A run down, uncared for property investment will attract the same sort of tenant. A well maintained, loved property would attract tenants who will pour the same level of love and care into the property as if it were their own.  This is ideal for property investors as they won’t have to worry that the capital value of their property will diminish over time.
  • Invest a little time on writing the copy for the advertisement for your property investment or make sure your property manager reflects the features of the property adequately.  You want to attract tenants with stable jobs, education and literacy, and they will be more interested in a well written description of your property.
  • Rental prices: To find a reasonable price range, it is best to keep your rental price in line with similar properties in the area. For example, if you have spoken with your agent and found that most likely tenants in the area will be students, it may be desirable to offer a furnished property at a reasonable weekly price.  This would be more attractive to transitory students who may be coming from abroad to study and not have many possessions thus widening your market to include that demographic.
  • Reference checks:  When reviewing potential tenants, the first references to check are the applicant’s previous rental history. They can provide answers to questions such as:

–          How long did the applicant live at the previous property?

–          Did they pay rent on time?

–          What type of condition did they leave the property?

–          Did they keep pets?

–          Did they allow anyone else to live on the property without notification?

The next reference check to consider is employment-related: during this part of the screening process, the following questions can be asked:

–          Do you expect this employment to continue in the future?

–          Is the applicant employed full time, part time or temporary basis?

–          Would you describe the applicant as a good employee?

–          What salary is the potential tenant on?

Occasionally personal references will be used, however these can be the least informative testimonials as they generally come from family and friends.  One last point:  just remember that if you were putting a house on the market for sale, you’d want it to be in the best possible condition to attract a buyer. Finding a good tenant for your property investment involves a similar approach so ensure that your apartment always looks its best at the open inspection.

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