Questions asked when selecting a tenant?

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Often a tenant will give as a reference the contact details of their previous Property Manager or Landlord. So what questions should you be asking them?

Here are 10 important questions to ask previous Property Managers or Landlords:

1. Did they pay the rent on time?

You definitely want a reliable tenant who pays their rent on time. If they pay rent on time, they are more likely to be responsible with your investment. After all, more than likely, you have to pay your mortgage on time!

2. What was the reason for the move?

Ultimately you want a reliable tenant who rented for the full length of their lease. Ascertaining whether the prospective tenant moved out by choice or if they were moved out by their previous Property Manager or Landlord can indicate a lot about a tenant. Of course life’s circumstances mean that sometimes a tenant for very legitimate reasons will break their lease, such as job transfer or loss of employment. In general however, responsible tenants will not break their lease early.

3. Did they break the Property Manager or Landlord’s rules?

If a prospective tenant broke the Property Manager or Landlord’s rules or were evicted for non-payment of rent, it is best to avoid choosing them to rent your investment property. If they couldn’t pay rent on-time and keep the rules then it is possible that the same will happen again with your investment property.

4. Did they give 30 days notice prior to moving?

If a tenant didn’t give 30 days notice prior to leaving their previous rental property you will want to know why. They may not have given notice as yet, and may want you to hold the property for them for this length of time. It is best to get confirmation of their vacate date from the previous Landlord when selecting a great tenant for your investment property. After all you need all the facts.

5. How did they maintain the property?

If a tenant kept their property clean, tidy and reported any jobs that needed attention to their Property Manager or Landlord, then your property will have kept it’s value and may have increased in value. Choosing your tenant by their past actions and not their current promises gives you peace of mind.

6. Were they clean?

You can save yourself a lot of time and energy if your tenant is consistently clean and tidy. Generally the tidy house that is kept in good order reflects the tidy order of regular on time rental payments. While cleaning is something that may be done at the end of a tenancy it makes the job so much easier if cleanliness has been evident throughout the tenancy.

7. Did they cause any damage to the property?

Asking the previous Property Manager or Landlord if the property was well maintained will give you a good idea as to how your property will be treated. If the property was damaged and neglected and maintenance was not reported, then this may not be the right tenant for you.

8. Were they respectful to their neighbours?

Inconsiderate and noisy tenants could make the neighbours unhappy. Having to deal with noise complaints and complaints from neighbours is painful. You want someone who is going to be considerate of the surrounding community. Ask the previous Property Manager or Landlord if there were any breaches for complaints from neighbours regarding noise.

9. Were they good communicators?

It is important to know that the tenant is responsive whenever you need to communicate with them. Did the tenant neglect to respond to the Property Manager or Landlord’s phone calls or emails? You need responsive tenants that will keep you in the loop with everything involving your investment property and rent payments, including any changes to their contact details or circumstances.

10. The most important question of all – Would you rent to this tenant again?

This should be your capstone question. If the answer is anything but “yes”, you should consider the tenant carefully. You want to rent to a tenant that the previous Property Manager or Landlord would be happy to sign for another lease.

We hope that this helps you in your search for a tenant, however should you need a hand we would be delighted to help.

Thanks for your time.

About Gai Kroczek

Gai is the Owner/Manager of Total Care Property Management together with Bernie Kroczek of Bernie Kroczek Real Estate. Gai has been in Real Estate for over 20 years and runs a professional Property Management team utilising the latest technology to assist owners in maximising their investment while also assisting tenants.

Gai is also the web designer and maintains all the office technology keeping abreast of all the many changes and implementing them to make sure our owners get the best possible service.

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