How To Find & Keep Good Tenants
Tenants may not be able to make or break your investment success, but they can certainly make the experience a lot smoother.
Luckily, as the owner of the property and the landlord, you do have control over which tenants live in your property. Your property manager can help you make decisions for the long-term that will ensure success.
The “best” tenant isn’t necessarily the richest applicant or the tenant who offers most. You need to think carefully about bringing in someone that suits your property, that perhaps will stay for a long period of time and who will be clean and reliable. Speak to your property manager upfront about what the ideal tenant may be and your plans for the property.
Finding the best tenants
The first step to having a successful experience is attracting enough tenants to view your rental in the first place. This will ensure you have a wide range of tenants to choose from and will allow you to pick someone who is the right fit for your property.
As well as speaking with your property manager about how to advertise the home in the listing, be ready to present your home well for the photos and open for inspections. Good quality properties find good quality tenants, therefore presenting your property well will not only ensure that you attract a significant number of tenants, but the type of person you want. Ensure your property is clean, neat and with all the appliances in working order.
Make sure your rent is advertised at an appropriate rate, not too high or too low. If it’s too high, you will not achieve any interest, while if it’s too low it made erode your return and affect who will apply. Be wary of “too good to be true” tenants, offering lots of money upfront.
In Tuncurry, 36 per cent of the market are currently renters, dropping to 33 per cent in Forster, according to Domain Group data. The median rent is $350 per week and $373 per week in Tuncurry and Forster respectively. While these figures are representative of the middle of the market, be sure to know whether your type of property typically commands more or less.
In a slower rental market, you may want to provide some incentive to tenants to consider your home, such as a week’s free rent, however this technique should be used sparingly and discussed in detail with your property manager. At present the rental market in postcode 2428 is fairly tight, at 2.1 per cent, which means most rental homes shouldn’t have a problem finding tenants.
When you do have applicants, you should thoroughly consider each application. Your property manager will be able to undertake rental background checks on databases and you can arrange to check references where appropriate.
Keeping good tenants
When you have found a good tenant, the next trick is keeping them happy and in the property. Most leases run for 12 months, which means that your renters have an option to move on once a year and you can opt to have a different tenant if you are unhappy with the current arrangement.
While some tenants will have to move as a result of changing circumstances, others will move when they are unhappy with their home and rental situation. If you want to keep your tenant, then keeping them happy, within reason, is a top priority. Treat your tenants with respect and remember that this is their home.
The most common tenant complaint is often that necessary maintenance isn’t completed in a timely fashion. As a landlord, it is your responsibility to ensure you uphold your part of the agreement – providing a well-maintained, liveable home. Ensure you are easily contacted by your property manager and have a process in place for both emergency and non-essential repairs. Understand your role as a landlord – NSW Fair Trading has information to assist you here.
Another common reason tenants will leave is when the rent is increased. While you should feel free to keep up with the market, you should aim to keep your rent competitive. Rental increases outside of market rises should be justified in relation to an increase in amenity, otherwise you may face losing your tenant over a mere $5 increase in the rent, or $260 a year.
Lastly, ensure you have landlord’s insurance – even if the tenant turns out to keep your property in excellent condition, you should be prepared for the unpredictable.