Brendon Stuckey of Quinovic Property Management shares with us his top tips for tenanting rental properties.
- Always conduct reference checks on tenants. It is common practice for tenants to provide contact details for several referees in the application process, which may include previous/current landlords, family, friends, employers and co-workers. Take the time to contact the referees and try to obtain an impression of the potential tenant’s behaviour. Hesitations, evasive answers or even just a feeling that the referee is not being completely honest could all be red flags.
- Check tenants’ credit history and Tenancy Tribunal orders. Potential tenants should give consent to a credit check within the application process. Don’t neglect to conduct these checks – there are tenancy checking agencies that provide a comprehensive online checking service.
- Take photos of your property to compile a detailed catalogue of the premises including any existing damage. This can be signed off by both parties at the outset of tenancy to protect both the landlord and the tenant from unsubstantiated damage claims.
- Clearly outline expectations in the tenancy agreement. This may include expectations surrounding lawn and garden maintenance, pets, names of approved occupants, inspections and so on. Don’t rely on verbal instructions alone.
- Opt for a fixed term tenancy over a periodic tenancy. Even in today’s market, rental properties can be difficult to rent out in December, January and the winter months so setting up a fixed term tenancy helps to avoid vacancies at those times.
- Take the maximum bond of four weeks’ rent and lodge it with the Department of Building and Housing within 23 working days of receiving it. If a rent increases the bond may also be increased proportionately (or refunded in the event of a rent decreasing).
- Ensure your insurance policy covers damage from methamphetamine contamination. Not all insurance policies are equal, so check the policy details to see if you are covered. It could literally save you tens of thousands of dollars.
As the Principal at Quinovic Property Management’s West Auckland office, Brendon Stuckey combines his problem-solving skills with years of property investment experience to deliver a superior, professional property management service. If you have any questions regarding this article or property management in general, please contact Brendon on mobile 027-490-7777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.