If you own an investment property, naturally you want the best tenants you can find. But how much say do you really have in choosing the people to rent your property to? Can you just jilt anyone at the rental altar for any reason at all?
As property management agents specializing in the inner west, one of the most important things we do is select the best tenant to lease the property.
Sometimes landlords ask us not to rent the property to single mothers, children or sharers, and instead choose professional working couples or older families.
Now as a property manager, we certainly respect that any owner want to the have their property well cared for with rent paid on time. But the fact is that it’s also important to be aware that under State and Federal laws real estate agents are prohibited from taking discriminatory direction from a landlord.
An agent and a landlord are both legally liable if a complaint is made, which can result in a claim being bought before the courts and compensation being awarded to a prospective tenant – out of your pocket.
Choosing the right tenant the right way
By law, when selecting a tenant for your property you cannot discriminate against:
- Age (this includes discrimination due to having children).
- Sex, sexuality or sexual preference
- Marital status
- Disability (including physical, intellectual or psychiatric).
Landlords are, however, allowed to reject potential tenants if:
- The tenant owns a pet
- The property is not physically able to accommodate as many people as required on the application.
- The tenant’s credit rating indicates that they may not be able to pay the rent in full and on time.
From experience, we’ve learnt that it’s not the status of a person that determines if they are a quality tenant; rather, it’s the references they supply. We’ve had many single mothers and families with young children that have been exceptional tenants. We’ve also had elderly tenants and working professionals who have left properties in a poor state, with rent owing and repairs and maintenance required.
It is important to carefully check references with current and previous Agents or Landlords, employers and accountants. A tenant’s credit history should also be checked to ensure that the tenant has not left a previous rental property damaged or owing money. Considering landlord insurance is also a good idea.
We’ll manage it for you
The best way to take the stress out of selecting the best tenant for your property is by having it managed by the inner west’s most serious property managers.
When we hold inspections for a rental property, we treat it as if we were selling it. Unlike some agents, we don’t stand at the door playing with our phone!
Inspections are usually on the weekend, so on the following Monday we assess the applications. We make no decision until we’ve received at least three applications (subject to market conditions) and once we have, we grade them on the following criteria:
- How long they’ve been with their current employer
- How long they’ve been in past rental accommodation
- Their capacity to pay
At this point we’d phone you with our top three choices and our recommended tenant. Once you give the go-ahead, we check the references, and run a background and credit check. If all that looks good, we then phone the prospective tenant and draw up the lease for the tenant to sign as quickly as possible.
So let Exchange Property Sales and Management do the grunt work for you. To read more about how we can manage your property for you, download a copy of our FREE Investment Property Management Guide and exchange stress for equity today.