2020 has brought us all countless challenges so far, from isolation to job losses and many small business’s closing down. One joy that we have been blessed with is the 1% vacancy rates on investment properties.
So here are some tips to help you select the premium people in the rental race!
Presentable and Punctual
We’d all like to think that looks are irrelevant, but well-presented and punctual people tend to be thorough, responsible, employed and pay their bills. Notice their presentation visually but also pay attention to their body language and general behaviour. These factors should give you a good indication of the type of person they are and the type company they will keep in your property.
The application form is the potential tenant’s way of showing you and us that they are the best candidate, they can pay the rent and that they will look after your property. Ideally it will be clean, neatly written or typed and outline any additional information that might make them stand out from the crowd. Up to date documentation is also important. If they produce this information promptly and easily you know they are neat, organised and ready to move in!
What They Should Include
Many of us have rented at some stage throughout our life or maybe you haven’t, so here’s what applicants need to include:
To save time and to show they are keen to rent the property, they might compile a rental resume and bring printed copies to viewings. This will include their personal details, education, employment details, salary, rental history, references and contact details. A document like this will make yours and our lives so much easier.
One of the most important documents you will receive. Would you allow a tenant to live in your home, despite having no way of proving they are who they say they are?
Their driver's license or passport is ideal.
Reference letters from past landlords and employers are helpful and must be contacted by you or us. Having positive feedback straight from the horse's mouth can certainly help. Just remember nobody is going to give you the details of a negative referee so be thorough in your questioning.
A very important factor is their ability to pay the rent. We are looking for those with a constant and reliable source of income, so recent pay slips and bank statements will show proof of employment, and remove any fears you may have over future missed payments.
This is crucial to their application. Rental history includes their former addresses, late rent payments and evictions, criminal history, and other data will help you decide whether they are a good fit as a tenant. This information is to renting what a credit score is to getting a loan. With the applicant’s permission, we access this information and assess whether they are a suitable tenant for your property.
Applications with a cover letter show that applicants are willing to go the extra mile to secure your property, it shows their enthusiasm, some professionalism and is an extra reason why perhaps they should be considered.
First Time Tenants
Don't panic, fortunately, every tenant has been a first-time renter at some stage.
Our main concern is their ability to pay the rent, take care of the property and comply with the terms and conditions of the lease. While references from previous landlords are requested, there are other ways to prove that they will pay your rent on time and take care of the property.
If they were previously living in student accommodation, they can provide the details of the person in charge of managing the complex, or if they previously owned their home, the agent who handled the sale may be able to act as a reference.
Lastly, if they’re currently living with their parents, we require personal references. In some situations, they can have a parent co-sign the lease.
Examples of documentation that we will request are:
Verification of employment and income
Reference from employer or fellow staff member
Reference from neighbour/teacher/business person/doctor/accountant
Photo identification driver's licence/passport/student ID
Three personal references - these should not be from relatives
Last gas/electricity/phone bill or rates notice