There is no other way to say it, selecting the correct resident to put in your rental is key to being a successful landlord.

You need only to scroll the local news sites to find horror stories about residents trashing a property and causing countless thousand of dollars’ worth of damage or even writing the place off! Of course, not all residents are like this and there are plenty of outstanding residents that will cause you absolutely no issues whatsoever, but as with anything in property investment, minimising the risk is essential. When it comes to renting and managing a property, there are some very simple things that you can do to ensure that you’re minimising your risk and doing everything you can to secure yourself and your resident a painless experience.

1) Previous references

Just like in a job interview, providing references is an essential part of any application that a prospective resident puts in front of you. Simply put, you shouldn’t be accepting anyone unless they have provided you with three references. Of course, there are different quality of references. Friends, family and partners will give you glowing references of the prospective residents, whereas previous owners, current employers and former property managers will give a more honest reflection. You should, as best practice, seek out at least two references from previous landlords and always ask your prospective resident to provide a minimum of three references in total.

2) Financials

Rent arrears are frustrating. To be frank, rent arrears don’t cover your mortgage repayments and they don’t cover your bills. It is important to understand if your resident is in a position to cover the amount of rent that you have listed your property for. You don’t need to ask the tenant for proof of income or payslips, but you should be asking the resident what the rent was on their previous property and double checking with their references. Running a credit check with your property manager could also be a non-invasive way to ensure that your prospective resident is not going to cause issues by not paying their rent.

3) Renting history

Possibly one of the most important things you should be checking when a tenant applies for your property is their renting history. Have they been to tribunal? If they have, have they disclosed it? What did they go to tribunal for? Did they win their case? Who applied to the tribunal? Was it the resident or the owner? These are all questions that are incredibly important to answer. Even good residents can be in tribunal if they take their poor owner to court themselves! Knowing about your potential residents’ rental history will leave you no surprises when they move into your property and will allow you to find the best possible resident for you!

4) Communication

Communication is the key to success in any relationship. You can’t enter into a contract with someone that you can’t communicate with. Think carefully about what the communication has been like with your prospective resident while trying to organise the viewing and whether or not they have been reliable, i.e. showed up on time and submitted their application as they said they would. All of this should be considered in selecting your resident.

5) Respect goes a long way

Just like in any relationship, there has to be an element of trust and respect. You may have noticed that recently Tommy’s has moved away from the labels “tenant” and also the label “landlord” as we feel these are very dated and often have negative connotations assigned to them. We make our residents to feel valued; as a result they respect us better, communicate better and on top of all, look after the property better. A good relationship works both ways, so do not look down on someone who is renting your home. Here are Tommy’s we pride ourselves in the level of service all of our clients get whether they are moving in or moving out!

6) Trust your gut

At the end of the day, no matter how you look at it, renting property is a people game. At Tommy’s we have always run by the motto, “people, not property.” Sometimes, you can do all the checks in the world and something does not feel quite right. Sometimes, you just have to trust your gut. You will have an impression of someone from when you first meet them. Your gut is your best instinct. We’re not saying judge a book by it’s cover, but at the viewing you should be taking time to get to know each prospective resident just a little. Your gut feeling should not be ignored as it often gives you a great insight into what your relationship will be like with the resident moving forward! While it may not seem that difficult, resident selection is one of the most important things that you can do when it comes to the success of your property portfolio and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Feel free to give us a call anytime on 04 381 8604 to discuss the importance of resident selection. We would love to help!

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