5 tips on finding the right tenant

By Aaron De Silva / The Edge Property | June 16, 2017 10:15 AM SGT
You’ve probably heard stories about the tenant from hell: illegal sublets; unruly behaviour; strangers staying over. Not all tenants are bad apples, of course. But all it takes is a bite of said apple to leave an unpleasant taste forever. For the small-time landlord managing his/her own property, these issues could easily balloon into something of nightmarish proportions. Think months of unpaid rent; costly repair and maintenance works; and messy legal proceedings surrounding an eviction. So how do you avoid all this nasty business? Well, simply by finding the best possible tenant. Consider the following tips when leasing your property.
Like Attracts Like
Honey bees are attracted to wildflowers just as houseflies are attracted to rubbish. You want a bee, not a fly, so naturally your property needs to be decent in the first place. It doesn’t mean that you need a shiny new-build with top-of-the-line fittings and finishes. It just means that your property has to be neat and tidy, free of grime and odours, and have all the fixtures and appliances in good working order. Remember that your tenants, however transient, are looking for a place to call home. If you aren’t sure whether your property passes muster (what’s acceptable to you may not be acceptable to someone else), get a second opinion.
Ask the Right Questions
In order to separate the wheat from the chaff, your screening process is paramount. Think of it as a job interview, where you’re the employer and your tenant, the prospective employee. And like a good interview, asking the right questions will help you suss out the tenant’s suitability. First and foremost, assess their financial standing by asking “What’s your monthly take-home pay?”. This should be followed by “What’s your monthly debt/expenditure?”. It’s standard practice that a tenant’s...