What do you need to know before choosing tenants?

If you are self-managing and are on the hunt for new tenants, there are quite a few things to keep in mind before giving them the tick of approval.

This is particularly important if you are advertising your property on platforms such as Facebook or Gumtree. You will need to keep in mind that applicants who are not having success through real estate applications will often resort to applying for privately managed properties on these platforms. This is becuase private landlords often don’t have access to the records (such as TICA- see below) that may be preventing them from getting a rental through official channels. So, you want to be very thorough with your checks.

Ask for a Cover Letter

A cover letter will help you to get a feel for who they are, why they would like to rent your property and what their ambitions are as your tenant. Do they plan to use the property as a home office, a share house, a family home and is this a good match for your property?

Pet resume

If they have a fur baby this is a must! This can help you to make an informed decision about whether this pet is a good match for your investment property. 

A pet resume should include: a picture of the pet, basic details, whether they’re an inside or outside pet, whether they’re microchipped, desexed, are they well- trained?

Application and Referees

An application should include five years’ worth of rental history, their current and previous employment, two personal referees and an emergency contact. Names, numbers and emails for a contact for each of the above should be listed.

If you feel something is off (eg. that a friend may have been put down instead of an employer) refer to our friend google. Google the workplace and call the office and ask to speak to the referee, this will confirm that you are speaking to the correct person at the business. It’s worth noting that often your gut feeling is correct. The most important references to you will be their rental references from agencies and their reference from their current and past workplaces, as personal references are generally a little bias.

TICA (Tenancy Information Centre Australia)

Similar to a credit check when applying for a loan, a TICA check enables you to search the applicant and ensure that they have no negative rental history logged. This will show if a real estate agency has recorded any breaches (failure to pay rent, damage of property, behavioural breaches etc). If you have a property manager they will have access to this system, or you can pay a one-time fee of $110 to search someone as a private landlord. Click here to view options.

Supporting Docs

The applicant should also include their current Photo ID (licence or passport) and proof of income (x3 most recent payslips, Centrelink income statement, or tax return information for self- employed individuals).

If they are a student or a first-time renter, it would be a great idea for them to provide you with a guarantor. This can be a parent or family member who is willing to be their financial back-up, should the tenant ever struggle to pay rent. 

If they have savings, the applicant should include a bank statement. This helps to paint a picture that they are financially responsible, and that paying rent will not be an issue.

If you have a property manager, they will complete all of these checks for you and in doing so only present you with the most outstanding and best fitting applicants for your property.

If you’d like some advice specific to your property, please get in touch with us at PropertyOwners and we can give you some pointers specific to your property. (03) 5223 1657

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