Why do some people have trouble finding the right tenants and why do most find it easy? Having bad tenants is the worst feeling, you feel totally out of control with something you have worked so hard for and the thoughts that run through your head as you try to go to sleep at night make it even worse not just for your hip pocket but your own quality of life.
There are many different reasons you may continually end up with bad tenants however over time I have realised 3 main factors that play a big role. So apart from a lack of quality verbal and written checks with your tenancy applications the biggest issues are generally the Rental Price, Condition and Location of property.
Most people think if they market their property at a higher rental price they will have more money in their wallet at the end of the day. I don’t agree, if you advertise your property over market value you may still find yourself with a good amount of enquiries if you’re lucky but you will generally receive poor applications with poor references from desperate people. This leads to your tenants not paying their rent consistently, not looking after the house or moving out quicker because they realise they can get better value elsewhere which leads to higher vacancy and extra costs associated with finding more tenants. Your goal should be a minimum of 2 years between new tenants not 6 months or a year! Do the maths.
Condition of Property
The second point is the condition of the property. As disappointing as it is, boy haven’t we all seen some dumps. A lot of us Property Owners only see our properties once a year to even a few times a decade so things can slip away because we don’t have the constant reminder and motivation to spend the money on the necessary repairs. Not only should you keep your property up to scratch, so little repairs don’t turn into renovations but no one likes living in a run-down house that has not been looked after. This is such a big issue for tenants, as it happens so often and I can promise you; they are sick of it. For this reason the tenants you attract will not be anywhere near as good compared to the applications you receive for a well looked after property.
I recommend attending all the routine inspections and viewing the property the end of each tenancy regardless if you use an agent or not to ensure you get the best from your property and therefore your tenants.
Keep your best tenants; be proactive, there is nothing better than a property owner who gets things done before tenants complain!
Location Location Location, you can change the house but you can’t change the location.
First of all, you should buy a property in an area you think your ideal tenants (think about their age & lifestyle) would like to live and secondly the property type and features are suitable for your target market.
I have worked in a number of different areas as a Property Manager and it didn’t take me long to realise there is a very distinct pattern; properties in the ‘unpopular’ or ‘bad’ areas generally attract tenants who don’t pay their rent on time and/or don’t look after house.
Ok so you already have your property, you can’t change your location. This does not mean you can’t go against the grain, you need to focus on the other 2 points made above, setting a fair and accurate rental price and taking good care of your property without forgetting about the important first impression, the street view of your property.
As a Licensed Real Estate Agent, Property Owner and Tenant, I feel the important thing is to be is fair and honest in your dealings no matter which side of fence you sit.