How to be a good tenant

How to be a good tenant

Yes, this is a website about investors. But since ‘Rentvesting’ is a thing, it’s in your best interests to know exactly how to be a good tenant.

Being a Property Investment website, we talk a lot about selecting the best investment option, or how to identify the best team to employ to drive along your investment portfolio.

But what we don’t exactly talk a lot about is Tenants. In the investment cycle, Property is the sliced bread, and Tenants are the butter. You need it. But we are going to look at it from a different school of thought.

Considering ‘Rentvesting’ is fast becoming the buzzword for investors, along with actually being a common strategy – in the interests of stability for you as the investor – we figured we’d give you a quick rundown on how to be a good tenant, and a good tenant applicant. Why? Because we all think we are perfect. But honestly, we are not.

Applying

First point of order – being a potential tenant. Now, unlike a property for sale situation, you don’t just put your offer down and be the highest bidder. As a tenant, the process is rather different.

Treat this like a job interview. Be on form. Impress the Property Manager. What people do not realise, is that your mannerisms, actions, questions are relayed to the owner. With 3-4 potential tenants offering the same amount, how do you stand out? The owner chooses you if they feel the most comfortable with you.

Now, this is as simple as appearing and dressing professionally, smart casual lets say. By being on the best behaviour. Making jokes with your friend or partner about an amazing party you could throw here does not bode well (true story – I have heard that in my brief stint in Property Management).

As a Property Manager, Leasing Consultant and an Owner, your role is to select a tenant candidate who will likely pay the rent on time, and be the best and safest option for the investment.

Prepare your documentation professionally, and have it easily presentable. Some agencies these days have applications all online, however some do not. Have your particulars ready should you wish to put an application forward. Make sure your references know they will be called.

Ask relevant questions, but don’t invite doubt. Ask about timing, lease terms, and appear safe, and long term. Don’t ask if it’s okay if your aunt’s divorced husband’s kids can stay ever third Monday night. Just go through the motions and be the best applicant.

Make sure you are ready to pay the first week’s rent to secure it to. If you have to delay when asked, you could appear financially unstable.

Living

You’ve made it in. You have moved in and area tenant. Congratulations. Now. Continue to be a good tenant.

Read your lease. Understand it. Read the sections detailing your emergency contacts. Understand what constitutes an emergency. Understand the clauses. Keep it in a location you can find it. This is important.

Keep note of all items required to be repaired or that has been damaged. Your fault or not, report them to the Property Manager. This allows this to be kept record of, managed, maintained and fixed. As a result this can be tended to before it becomes a major problem.

Read and abide by the Ingoing and Ongoing inspection records. Take photos. Take notes. Be thorough. Know your rights, and the rights of the owner. Imagine you are in their shoes. Just be thorough and make sure everyone is aware of everything. Transparency is key, especially with the condition of the property and ongoing repairs.

Allow access. Nothing is more painful than someone who doesn’t let a tradesman in, or for things to be checked. Be reasonable. Even if you are vacating, don’t be a pain with inspection times. This will be noted. Property Managers move around and talk. Don’t be that tenant everyone knows about.

Pay your rent on time. Seriously shouldn’t have to tell you that.

Be nice to your Property Manager, as stated above, they all talk, they move around, change companies, have many properties on their roster. They should be your best friend. You want them to like you and know you, how you work. They will likely help you. They have contacts, friends, all who can make life a lot easier. So make sure you are nice and don’t make things hard. They are  your friend, not your enemy.

Keep the place clean. Nobody is perfect, but that doesn’t mean let the wine stain fester for weeks. Clean it, organise it to be clean, make note, take photos and advise the Property Manager if required.

Finally, don’t be a prick. Just be exactly how you want your tenants to be. Don’t be a pain. Please!

 

Author

Michael Turner is a Property Development and Analytics Specialist operating in Sydney’s Growth Centres and corridors. He is a Director of YPI, along with several roles at property development firms and agencies. He can often be heard on various radio mediums talking about Football and Property. You can find him on Twitter @mturnerypi or email him directly at m.turner@youngpropertyinvestor.com

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