Look after your tenants and they'll be more likely to look after your property
The second part of this two-part series offers you some helpful advice about how to find the kind of tenants you really want - and how to keep them happy and in your property.
Screening tenants is an important part of the process to find who you’re looking for.
“After the lease application deadline has closed, landlords will be required to screen potential tenants,” said Caroyln Majda, Terri Scheer Insurance manager.
“The first step is to contact the employer of your preferred tenant to confirm that the information they have provided regarding their position, length of employment and salary is correct.
“It is also important to contact their previous landlord to discuss any issues that arose during their last tenancy, as well as the personal referees listed in their application.
“If an applicant is applying for their first lease and has no previous record of renting, speaking with responsible adults such as school teachers may suffice.
“If you are a member of a specific real estate industry association, you may have access to a tenant database which you can also use to search the names of your shortlisted potential tenants to find out whether there are any recorded issues with previous leases.”
Attend to maintenance issues promptly.
“Once you have selected your tenant and they have moved into the property, ensure you make every effort to attend to any maintenance issues promptly,” Ms Majda said.
“It can be quite frustrating for tenants if their requests for repairs go unanswered and if they aren’t getting the attention they deserve they may begin to question their commitment to your property and become more careless with it.
“Injury or loss resulting from a safety hazard that has not been attended to might also give rise to a costly legal liability claim.
“Responding to maintenance issues in a timely manner signals to your tenant that you care about the property and value their concern for its condition. This can contribute to creating a positive renting experience for your tenant.”
Ms Majda said that even if you do find good tenants, it is important to not take them for granted and rely on them to make sure nothing goes wrong.
“Even the best tenant can accidentally damage a property or lose their job and be unable to pay rent,” she said.
“Every landlord should have a tailored landlord insurance policy that covers them for both malicious and accidental damage, their legal liability and loss of rental income. Landlords can also enhance risk management by appointing a property manager.
“The time and effort that property managers can save landlords as well as the experience and knowledge they provide can be well worth the cost for their services.
“A property manager can also help to find tenants, ensure the correct paperwork is in place, assist landlords to form a professional relationship with their tenant, collect the rent, conduct property inspections and liaise with the tenant on behalf of the landlord.”
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Positive experience: Responding promptly to tenantsí concerns will help keep them happy. Picture: THINKSTOCK