Attracting high-quality, reliable tenants and cutting the workload of managing properties are two of the main challenges for Australian landlords. If you can't attract the right standard of tenant, you increase the risk of rent defaults, late payments and spiralling bills for repairs or legal costs. Bad tenants also tend to result in a greater workload, as you need to pay close attention to both the state of your properties and the regularity of rental payments.
However, there are ways to attract better tenants and make renting out homes less time-consuming. Here are some tips that will ease the stress of being a landlord and free up more spare time.
Don't Skimp on Background Checks
Checking the background of prospective tenants may be hard work, but it pays off in the end. Resist the temptation to find an occupant for your apartment straight away. Instead, request a few references and dig into their rental history. Actually, you don't need to do all of this yourself. Specialist property management firms can step in to screen tenants and make enquiries, saving you time.
Don't worry about putting tenants off. High-quality tenants will recognise a dilligent landlord and understand the need for comprehensive background checks. The end result will be less time spent dealing with problematic tenants or advertising for a new occupant when the current tenant suddenly leaves.
Price Your Property Intelligently
Setting the wrong price level is another way to waste time and attract the wrong kind of tenant. Common sense might suggest setting a relatively high price to attract affluent tenants. However, there are plenty of reliable lower-income tenants around, and you need a pool of applicants to choose from. But don't go too close to the minimum. Try to stick to a level just below the local average for a comparable property. That way, good tenants won't smell a rat due to a suspiciously low-price, and they won't gravitate towards cheaper properties either.
If you get the price wrong, you could end up with a huge queue of unsuitable applicants. In some cases, landlords have to start the entire process again, something that really needs to be avoided.
Bring in a Professional Cleaning Company
When tenants come to view properties, the best ones will pay close attention to the state of the carpets, furnishings, walls and sideboards. Good tenants tend to want to deal with reputable landlords, just as successful landlords always seek to attract reliable tenants. This makes it vital to keep all of your properties in the best possible condition.
Don't try to cut corners when sourcing cleaners for your rental properties. Poor quality cleaners will cut their own corners, use cheap cleaning methods and generally pay less attention to cleaning thoroughly. They may be quick, but their haphazard approach will be obvious. Instead, work with commercial cleaning services providers who specialise in residential locations.
Your cleaning company should also be able to rapidly respond to any requests from your tenants, helping to retain reliable renters and creating a harmonious landlord-tenant relationship. And, just as importantly, you will have to spend less time visiting and dealing with complaints.
By presenting your property professionally, choosing a wise price and checking your applicants diligently, you can avoid wasting time dealing with bad tenants and ensure a reliable income stream at the same time.