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It’s that time of year again! Halloween brings out all things spooky, so we are looking at how you can avoid horror tenants for your investment property.

It’s that time of year again! Halloween brings out all things spooky, so we are looking at how you can avoid horror tenants for your investment property.

Finding a suitable tenant for your investment property is not always an easy task.

On one hand, you want your investment property to be tenanted, but on the other hand you also want to make sure you choose a tenant who is reliable and will look after the property.

Before deciding on a tenant, you need to do your research and find out as much information as possible. Looking at their application may not be enough. Personally asking potential tenant questions will not only give you an insight into their financial situation and personality, but you can also identify any potential problems.

Listed below are a few questions you may find useful:  

What’s your current employment situation?

A steady income will be important to ensure that they can pay their rent. You could also ask how long they have been at their current job as this will indicate their employment stability.

Why are you moving?

This is a question that can be brought up in casual conversation, but it can also help uncover any potential problems. If the potential tenant responds negatively and starts complaining about their previous landlords and neighbours, it may be a red flag.

Do you have any references?

References from employers and previous landlords will help you determine if a tenant is honest and reliable., But don’t just rely on written references, take the time to call as well. Not only will they be able to give you background on the applicant, but they can also confirm whether the information the tenant has given you is accurate. For example, a tenant may say they wanted to move to find a bigger house, but by speaking to the previous landlord, you may find out they were actually evicted. 

Do you have any pets?

You should be aware of any pets before a tenant moves in so you can implement any conditions if you are worried about damage. For example, you may want the tenant to put down a larger bond to cover any damage.

Many landlords cringe at the thought of allowing pets into their property, but they can be a valuable asset. Allowing pets can enable you to charge more rent as you are offering something extra. Cover yourself by insisting on a larger bond and pest treatments for fleas or mites when they leave.

What has been your experience with previous rental properties?

This question is a good way to confirm whether the information they give you is correct just by contacting their previous landlord. If they do not want to give you any contact details of previous landlords or are acting nervous, it could be a sign that they are hiding something. 

How soon can you move in?

The last thing you would want is to choose a tenant only to find out they can’t move in for another few months. If a potential tenant is already living in a rental property, they will be required to give their landlord a sufficient amount of notice before moving out. However, if they are moving out of their parents’ house or something similar, they may be ready to move in straight away.

Do you have any questions?

It is important to establish a good relationship with the tenant straight away to keep the line of communication open. If the tenant knows they can openly ask any questions or express any concerns, you may be able to stop certain issues getting out of hand down the track.