Once you have purchased your investment property, the next struggle that landlords often face is the difficult task of finding and keeping good tenants. The search for the ‘right tenant’ can become quite an exercise in placing listings, screening eligible candidates, going through the ‘will I find the right one?’ scenario.
However, matching the right tenant isn’t too difficult if you first establish a set of criteria; target market, tenant search strategy and thoroughly screening prospective tenants.
Where to start?
The first thing to consider is who you want to be living in your property? Do you have a three bedroom suburban home or an inner city apartment? Each type of property is going to attract a specific type of tenant, so think about the age and type of resident in that group and who would fit that mix.
Your role as a landlord is to view your property as a potential tenant would – is the property in good condition, does it look loved and most importantly, would you live in it?
Apply the Like-attracts-Like theory; if you present a well-maintained, loved property will attract tenants who will pour the same level of love and care into the property as if it were their own.
How to find them
Enlist the help of a good property manager. Their services are invaluable when making choices about the right amount of rent to charge and how to properly screen tenants.
Do your research!
Given that normal tenant applications request as least three references across past employers, property managers, and personal referees it is vital to devote time to screening these contacts.
Do a minimum of three reference checks and find out how long the tenants have been at previous properties. If they are good tenants, they usually stay at one property for at least a year and always come with a property manager reference & good rental history.
After you have found your tenant
No matter how much of a good gut feeling you have about your tenant, you can’t predict the potential ‘what if’s’ involving your rental property. Seemingly small accidents through to significant damages can happen spontaneously and catch the tenant and landlord off guard. Such damages can be covered by landlord insurance.
By following these tips and demonstrating trust and tolerance, you will encourage your tenants to continue living in your residence, which will help you to pay off your investment with minimal problems.