03 June 2014 How to find and keep good tenants

Many investors hesitate to buy a property because of the fear of not having a tenant for a period of time. Being without a tenant in your property can cause you to lose sleep. It can also impact on your holding costs and potentially stop you in your tracks from growing your portfolio. The strength of your investment property is underpinned by the strength of your income to support the property, so finding and keeping good tenants is a top priority for stress free investing.

Finding the right Property Manager (PM)
Before you can find the right tenant you need to find the right property manager (PM). Self-managing my properties was never a consideration. A good PM is worth their weight in gold, and worth the fees you pay.  I have neither the time, interest or experience to undertake that role which requires a qualified understanding of the Tenancy Acts in each state. Managing day to day queries from tenants, arranging leases, holding monies in trust, is not my forte.  I do not mind paying a good PM a percentage of the rent to look after my property, besides my management fee and rental commission are all tax deductible.

The type of PM that I look for is a “career” person in the industry with many years of experience who understands people as well as the regulations.  If one of my trusted PM’s changes jobs to another agency, I move my property management with them.  If my PM is happy then my tenant will be happy and so will I. It is important to negotiate on the fees however I do not go with the cheapest fees as I do not want  the cheapest service. I want the best tenants, regular inspections with photos of my property,  prompt payment of my rent into my account and communication when any issues arise.
 Having a PM means I can obtain Landlords insurance more easily to protect my investment and have a more hands off and stress free approach. My PM’s are an important part of my team in my property investing business.

Finding and keeping a good tenant
Your PM will advertise your property, then screen and take applications from prospective tenants. This gives you worry free investing. Most tenants find your property on internet property websites making it easy and less cost for all. You have the final say as to which application you will accept. Good tenants are those who have employment  stability and payment reliability, both criteria my PM will confirm by completing the necessary background checks on each application. I have found that being pet friendly also makes you stand out from the crowd and helps attract good tenants, who are happy to pay more rent for this service. Being in areas where there is a military presence also helps in finding good tenants, they always pay and are extremely neat and tidy!!

Good tenants can be very demanding in what they are looking for in today’s lifestyle driven living, so I make sure that I buy properties that have strong tenant appeal. If you want to attract a premium tenant paying premium rent, then you need to be in the right location, as well as have the modern kitchens, bathrooms, family and  living areas, outdoor alfresco space, garages, storage and garden sheds that appeal to them. Tenants want to be near the best facilities, services, transport and schools. Always attending promptly to minor maintenance issues keeps your tenant happy and considering all these factors can give you long term happy tenants.

Stress free property investing

Over the last 5 years I have very rarely been without a tenant for more than 2 weeks across my whole portfolio, which includes houses, apartments and townhouses. I call this stress free investing. Any minor issues have always been handled by my team of PM’s who look after my different  properties in diverse locations. Buying the right properties in the right locations is very important to become  a successful investor . Finding and keeping  good tenants is just as important. The relationships I have with my experienced PM’s has been vital to my success . Thank you team! If you have any questions you would like answered about this or other topics please go to www.rocketpropertygroup.com.au/asklindy and I will be happy to answer them for you.

Reproduced in full with permission: Your Investment Property May 2014.

Attention: This article is intended to provide general information only. Every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information at the date of publication. The opinions expressed in this article do not reflect those of DHA, its staff or agents. Property prices are subject to fluctuation. Prospective investors should seek independent advice. DHA will not be liable for any loss, damage, cost or expenses incurred or arising by reason of any person relying on information in this article.