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How to get the Best Tenants

How to get the Best Tenants

What are you asking your potential tenants-to-be?


Many property owners are asking the wrong questions when looking at tenants. This can turn away suitable tenants. All because they focus on the wrong information.


So what are the wrong questions?

What time do you get home at night?

Firstly, that’s asking for too much personal information.


Or what’s the wrong information?

What will you be doing in my house?

You aren’t looking for tenants with a lifestyle you like.


Both questions are intrusive. And both may lead landlords to turn away potentially suitable tenants. Make sure you don’t focus on criteria that isn’t relevant!

Otherwise, you’ll struggle to find the right tenant.  It doesn’t matter if they have green hair or go to church or vote X, Y or Z.


What does matter is that they have a good track record for paying rent on time.

What does matter is that they will be leaving premises in good clean condition.


Agents are regularly left picking up the pieces after the event report. This is because many people just don’t know how to interpret the information they are given.


Investors managing the property for themselves will often get too involved. And this makes it difficult for them to be impartial. They know that maximising investment income is entirely dependent upon many too many things. Like keeping arrears, vacancies and repairs and maintenance to a minimum. And keeping yield and capital appreciation at a maximum. Many investors find this difficult to do in practice.


You have to prepare. You have to know what to ask.


What are the two most important background checks?

Previous rental history and employment record.

But evaluating rental history and employment records are difficult. Especially when you are inexperienced. (For those asking for tenant references. Remember to comply with all governing legislation and regulations that apply to the location of the property being rented.)

Or if you’re emotionally involved with the property, it’s also quite difficult.


For example, tenants might pay their rent up to date upon vacating. However, they have been a problem during the tenancy. Or someone might be in full-time work for years and still not be a good tenant.


One or two factors aren’t enough to build a profile of a prospective tenant.

On the other hand, asking too much likely won’t work as well. Inexperienced do-it-yourselfers tend to ask for too much information. Which means they end up with a longer vacancy and are never satisfied.


What shouldn’t you look for?


Personal references aren’t a valid indicator of tenant reliability. Which many investors are unaware of.


What do many agents, with years of experience all report?

That they have never seen a bad personal reference.

Why wouldn’t they have seen one?


Friends and relatives don’t write negative things about those close to them. Even if they did, it wouldn’t get seen. Prospective tenants aren’t going to show that to landlords or agents.

It would be detrimental to their chances.


Just remember, to keep the questions directly relating to the renter and the property.

Start with rental and employment history. Then ask how they leave properties and do they pay rent on time?


Don’t ask about for personal references, they just aren’t necessary.


Good luck with your tenant hunting!


Interested in purchasing a property to rent?


Please check out the rest of our website for expert assistance and professional agents. Buckingham and Company are a boutique real estate agency. Because of that, we can offer a more personalised experience.  


Buckingham and Company

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