Choosing the right tenants can be a hard, stressful experience. Here are some useful questions to help you decide which tenants are right for your Wellington investment property.
1. Why Are You Leaving Your Current Place?
A general question that can provide plenty of useful knowledge. This question gives you the opportunity to learn about the prospective tenant’s situation, whether they have children and are moving to be closer to a good school, or because of previous disagreements with former flatmates or landlords – an instant red flag!
2. When Would You Like To Move?
Are they overly anxious to move in? This question can help you evaluate the tenant’s suitability and what situation they’re in. If they want to move in tomorrow, they may not be the most responsible person and could be acting on impulse or in desperation, which begs the question, why? A definite yes to move into the property in four weeks is better than a yes today and a no tomorrow.
3. How Many People Do You Plan To Live With?
More people generally increase the risk of wear and tear in your investment property, and overcrowding can cause potential fire and safety risks. As landlord you have the right to state how many people are allowed to live in your rental property on a permanent basis, making this a key question for all prospective tenants.
4. Do You Have Any Pets?
Whether you have a no pets rule, or only allow certain pets, this is an important question to ask. It’s an easy way to cut down the applicants, and allows you to explain any restrictions or requirements you have for pet owners. Take a look at our article Should Pets Be Allowed In Rental Properties for more tips on having pet owners as tenants. Note that the body Corp rules of many apartments forbid pets, so never leave this in doubt if the rules don’t allow pets.
5. Do You Smoke?
Smoke creates lingering smells that may put off future tenants, however smokers are usually willing to only smoke outside. Confirm this by checking for odours during regular quarterly inspections. If you need help removing odours within your investment property check out our article Top Tip On Removing Odours and Mould In Properties.
6. What’s Your Weekly income? Would You Consent To A Credit Check?
Money can be seen as a taboo subject, but rather know now than find out later when the tenant suddenly stops paying rent. As landlord, you have the right to ensure prospective tenants can afford to pay rent, bills and living costs with their current income, and whether they have any outstanding debt. Their answer can help you determine whether they are the right fit. Prior to every tenancy we credit check prospective tenants to build a picture of their future ability to pay rent.
7. Can you Pay Bond On The Move In date?
Ask whether they can pay bond and an advanced rent payment – if they’re unsure, this could be a red flag about their financial situation and whether they may have future issues paying rent on time. If they claim to have the money “but not right now” or ask to pay in installments then in may be a good idea to politely move on to the next candidate.
8. What is Your Residence History? Have You Ever Been Evicted? Can You Provide Any References?
Ask for information about their current and prior residence history for the last few years to get a good idea on whether they are the kind of tenant that stay long-term or leave quickly. Each residence history should provide contact information on the landlord or property manager. You should contact past landlords as they are more likely to tell you the blunt truth about whether the tenant caused damage or didn’t pay rent on time, unlike current landlords who may exaggerate on how good the tenant is in hopes of getting these tenants out of their own property. Our property managers require three references including past landlords, and every one of these references is contacted as part of our tenant screening process.
If you're considering Property Management get in touch with us today. Locally owned and managed, we offer residential property management services across the entire Wellington & Hutt Valley region.
We take care of investments, offering peace of mind and a personal service to investors and tenants alike. Our solutions are backed by industry-leading technology and proven systems that promote both excellent property care and strong investment returns. Taking on all aspects of the landlord’s role, we guide our clients with professional, tailored advice using our extensive experience and insight in the rental market that can only be built over time.
If you would like to chat about the possibility of working together, or to receive a no-obligation, FREE Rental Appraisal get in touch with our team today.
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