A good property management office starts with the rule of vetting tenants properly. The aim of the leasing staff is not just to find a good tenant – it is to find a good tenant for the right property.
Turning down the wrong applicant is the most important thing that you can do for both the tenant and the landlord. If the application process is thorough, in most instances you are able to confidently advise a landlord that you believe the tenant will be good. If you cannot confidently present the tenant to the landlord, then there is a good chance that you are selling the tenant not only to the landlord but also to yourself.
It is our experience that good tenants far outweigh the bad and that most tenants live in their rented home in the same way that they would live in a home that they own. Take great care with prospective tenants who are unable to provide proper information supporting their ability to look after a property and pay the rent promptly.
There are some properties that are, of course, difficult to lease to the perfect tenant as they have failings of their own. In this case, it is still the property manager’s role to diligently research the prospective tenant’s application and discuss with the landlord the risks of accepting a tenant who may not be perfect. However, for landlords and Property Managers alike, consider whether you want to be leasing a property that can only be leased to tenants who carry potential risks. It is far better to properly present a property so that is will appeal to a discerning tenant who will take care of it properly.
At all times you need to look for the problems and not try to hide from them. Once a substandard property is leased there is a big possibility that the problems will find you.
Tenant database services provide another level of protection. They can assist in identifying a previously defaulting tenant and good tenancy databases have requirements for information that can alert you to a tenant using an alias or one who has a poor tenancy record in a slightly different name, as they can cross-reference dates of birth and identity documents, such as driver’s licence and mobile telephone numbers.
Today’s cyber world has brought us an additional tool – the Google search. This simple search can also help validate a prospective tenant and provide an additional level of comfort.
Have good relationships with your local agents, even those that may be your strongest competition. Be honest when you give references for tenants who are leaving your office to rent from another agent if you wouldn’t recommend them. You will more than likely be repaid in kind.
If you chose to ignore a potential problem (big or small), then it is this that will be your potential undoing. The most important thing in checking a tenancy reference is a genuine desire to find the bad news. If you try hard to find it and can’t, then there is a very good chance that it just isn’t there, and you have a tenant you would be happy to put in a property you own yourself.
Again, in our experience, poor quality tenants are the exception rather than the rule and on a final note deserve to be treated with proper respect for the rent that they are paying and the care that most take of the properties they are renting from us. There is no such thing as just a tenant.
About Laing & Simmons Double Bay Property Management
Laing + Simmons Double Bay Property Management is part of a high-profile franchise group yet remains independently owned by Principals Suzie Reid and Bart Doff.
The office is acknowledged as the market leader in prestige Eastern suburbs leasing, a reputation which has been forged in over 25 years leasing and managing a large portfolio of the best properties available in the Eastern Suburbs rental market.
Contact us today to see how we can help manage your investment property, or to find a rental property to suit your needs.