Tuesday, October 17, 2017

6 Character Traits to Consider When Looking for a Tenant

tenant, landlord, landlord insurance

Finding a reliable tenant is one of the most important parts of being a successful landlord. The kind of person that lives on your rental property is one of the biggest factors that determines how straightforward or problematic your overall landlord experience is. Doing your homework and interviewing potential tenants is obviously very important, but there are certain patterns in terms of personality traits that you should also keep in mind. This article will discuss just a few of them that you may not have considered. 

What to Look For

Stable History

Someone with a stable job history that has made long-term rental commitments in the past is possibly the most important thing to look for in a tenant. If they’ve been at their current job for a long period, it may also be a sign that they’re looking to stay in the area, rather than changing cities or suburbs in the near future. The type of employment is also important; whether their work is ongoing or contractual, for instance.

Well groomed

It may seem slightly superficial, but a tenant who is generally well presented is often more likely to be reliable and dependable. Whether it be the way they dress or their general cleanliness, someone’s appearance can say an awful lot about the kind of person they are and importantly, how they live. If it is clear they look after themselves, chances are they’ll look after your property too.

Pet Owner

Understandably, many landlords will not allow their tenants to keep pets; often the property simply isn’t appropriate and can be bothersome for other residents in an apartment building, for instance. Further, some landlord insurance policies may not cover pet damage. So this may not apply to everyone. But some experts suggest that renting to pet owners can actually be a good way of entering into a long-term arrangement with a tenant.

When most landlords have strict policies concerning pets, allowing your tenants to have pets on the property can be a way to encourage them to stay. After all, they are less likely to find a suitable property that fills this requirement.

Interestingly, research shows that dog owners tend to be more secure and risk adverse. While this is a generalisation, it can be a sign of the kind of person you’re dealing with and potentially someone that is going to stick around for long.

What to Avoid



Over you can get a sense of the kind of person they are simply by how they approach the interview process. Prompt response times and punctuality when setting up the meeting can be a sign that they’re well organised, whereas someone that is all over the place and a little frantic may be a little more tricky and unpredictable. Asking about the tenant's life can give you an idea of how much drama they may be dealing with and how reliable they’ll be down the track.

Wanting to move straightaway

Again, this is by no means a hard and fast rule, and tenants that are wanting to move in within a few days may be a godsend for you as a landlord, but often pushing tenants that seem overly eager to get everything moving quickly may not be the most desirable tenants. Why do they need to move in so urgently? You should consider their current living situation, as it may be that they are being kicked out or not giving their current landlord enough notice, which says something about their character. This could be a sign of a chaotic lifestyle, or there could be a legitimate reason. It really depends on the context.

Incomplete applications

If the tenant hasn’t bothered to complete the tenant application, it’s generally not a good sign. There really isn’t a good reason that someone wouldn’t complete an application if they are serious about becoming a tenant. Also, you may notice that they are providing contradictory information in terms of what they’re telling you about their life, and what their application says. Applicants that can’t keep their story straight may be problematic. This should be regarded as a red flag and a sign that you probably want to avoid this kind of person. Click here to learn more about what qualification you should look for in a potential tenant.

These characteristics and traits can provide you with a general idea of what kind of person you’re dealing with, but they should be considered in context. Getting to know the person in an interview setting can provide you with a good idea of what you can expect from them, so trust your instincts. If you’re after more advice about being a landlord or want to have a chat with a landlord insurance broker to learn more about landlord insurance in Australia, give the team at SGUA a call today.

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