Don’t Let Bad Tenants Through The Door

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Don’t Let Bad Tenants Through The Door

Being tricked into handing your money over to a scammer is easy to avoid if you exercise some caution, so here are some things you should consider before leasing to your next (or first) tenant.

The last thing you want to do is pay for the tenant.

As we discussed last week some people are only out there to separate you from your money. 

Fortunately, being tricked into handing your money over to a scammer is easy to avoid if you exercise some caution. What can be harder to avoid, and end up being more costly, is dodgy tenants. 

Bad tenants are harder to spot, they can look fine but only reveal themselves to be a hazard once you examine them closely. Or once they have moved in.

It can be an easy trap to fall for, particularly if you're a first time landlord or managing your property yourself.

Without experience it can be hard to spot real red flags, so here are some things you should consider before leasing to your next (or first) tenant.

Tenant Red Flags

  1. Payslips? What Payslips?
    It might sound obvious but ensuring your tenant can actually pay the rent is an easy thing to get wrong. Tenants ought to be able to provide their most recent (at least the last two weeks) worth of payslips or invoices, if not more.

    The take away: It's tempting to accept people at their word, but if they're being honest they won't have a problem showing it.

  2. First Time Renters
    While almost everyone has to have a first rental property, not everyone is being honest about when that was. This can be hard to spot, so it's worth taking all their other information into consideration. Someone who has lied about their rental history is someone who has a reason to lie about it.

    The take away: This is easily avoidable by asking your new tenant to have someone with rental history to sign on with them. Whether this is a parent or someone else, having that extra guarantee should make things easier for both of you. Which brings us to...

  3. Referees All Suddenly Lose Their Phones
    It happens! Mobile phones do occasionally go missing or break, but it would be an unlikely coincidence for all of a tenant's referees to suddenly become uncontactable.

    Sometimes you'll get the excuse of a referee being overseas, and if that is the case it shows a lack of forethought and planning on the tenant's part. 

    The take away: You should expect to be able to contact the majority of a tenant's referees. Not being able to contact them is a major red flag. 

  4. They Move. A Lot. 
    Whether lifestyle or for a change of scenery, people move for plenty of reasons. But most people are reluctant to move more than once or twice a year. Tenants that move around a lot are at the very least unreliable.

    You don't want to advertise your property every twelve months, this is annoying and it makes your property look undesirable.

    The take away: If you have a tenant that looks good on paper, but moves a lot, you should ask them why. They might have very legitimate reasons for their prior moves, but they also might not be able to explain it.

  5. They Don't Look At The House
    Prospects that have no interest in inspecting your property are essentially holding a sign that says, "I don't care about where I live". People who don't care about where they live are unlikely to look after the place.

    The take away: Be wary of people who seem more interested in submitting an application than finding out if they want to live in the property. They'll either wreck it, or end up leaving. Either way you're out of pocket.

  6. Presentation Isn't Their Strongest Suit 
    Requiring people to turn up to your open inspection in full formalwear probably isn't the smartest strategy, but prospect that turn up without even putting a modicum of effort into their presentation are probably ones to avoid.

    The take away: Similar to #5, people who can't be bothered to do the basics like shower are probably not going to be great at looking after your property.

  7. They Ask All The Wrong Questions
    Most people like to know the same fairly standard things about properties, they'll ask questions about the utilities, neighbours and neighbourhood and nearby public transport to name a few. This is all well and good, these questions help you both figure out if it is the right fit.

    But when tenants start asking about specifics of neighbours lives, how old they are or anything that seems a bit too out of the ordinary you should be wary.

    The take away: Some people are at your inspection for reasons other than finding a new home. Be on the look out.


Close The Door

From the initial inspection to the application itself, these are some of the red flags you should be looking out for. Hopefully you'll never encounter any of them and you'll only lease to the best kind of tenants, but the reality is you'll likely encounter one or more of these red flags.

While some of them look fairly innocuous or explainable by themselves it is worth paying extra attention to these applicants. Or hiring someone to vet your applicants for you, so you don't need to worry about it. 

If you're in the process of getting new tenants, and now aren't sure whether they are as quality as they have presented themselves to be, get in contact with us and we'll help you ensure you're not letting dodgy tenants through the door.

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