Tenants from hell (Ep.50)

A good property manager is worth their weight in gold, and equally, so is a good tenant. A great tenant who is happy and obliging will stay in your property for a long time – avoiding long gaps between tenancies, advertising costs for vacancies and loss of rental income. 

In this episode David Johnston, Cate Bakos and Peter Koulizos take you through: 

  1. What makes a good tenant, it’s more than simply paying on time. 
  2. What does a bad tenant look like? A bad tenant is a liability to avoid at all costs.  
  3. Does your property manager stack up? A bad property manager can be worse than a bad tenant.  
  4. The correlation between the quality of property and the quality of tenant. Low socio-economic areas do not necessarily equate with bad tenants.  
  5. How to capture a great tenant. Pricing your rent, asking great questions, arranging open for inspections and knowing your property inside out.  
  6. And of course, our “gold nuggets”! 

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Show notes

  • What makes a good tenant?  
    • Happy and obliging tenant who is enjoying staying – this means long tenure. Avoiding long gaps in tenancy, advertising vacancies and loss of income when you’re in between tenants.  
    • Someone who pays the rent on time. 
    • Maintains the property to a standard that you would like.  
    • Someone who flags issues with the property.  
  • What makes a bad tenant? 
    • Doesn’t pay rent or pay it on time, they ruin the property, upset neighbours, police attending, tenant reports. 
    • Disrespectful and has no regard to the property. 
    • Good property manager – they make your life easier. A bad property manager can be worse than a bad tenant.  
  • What does a good property manager look like? 
    • One who is friendly, prompt, communicates well, comes to you with solutions not just requests.  
    • An excellent property manager understands that you are managing an asset, increase appeal, rent, tenure of tenant, suggest some ideas that can enhance capital base – know a lot about the area, schools, employers etc. 
    • An incredible property manager knows the area inside out, they are particularly good at navigating you through landlord process that they can broker agreements and step tenants through periods of difficulty without going to VCAT. 
    • Stand out property managers are often business owners – they are a small team.  
  • What is the correlation between quality of property and quality of tenant? 
    • Low socio-economic area does not equate to a bad tenant, but a bad house which is missing things that tenants need, that’s when you have a bad tenant and a bad house.  
    • The reality is that you are at a higher risk, and it comes down to the selection of the property and the location in that area.  
    • Who is your target tenant? 
  • How to nab a great tenant 
    • Rental yield- some tenants may offer more with a higher price point – make sure you’re inline with market rent, is there something about your property which could be putting someone off that you could change? 
    • Don’t price too high – you could miss out on quality tenants and the person who applies has been declined by everyone else.  
    • A happy tenant will present your home like a show home on sale.  
    • Smart tenants will scattergun in their hunt for a property to rent – responsiveness is key to get a good tenant.  
    • Know your property, this takes time – test everything when it’s warm, cold, open every door, drawer, tap and toilet. It could be just a few niggles, which the tenant finds annoying but not worth asking the property manager to fix.  
    • Best thing you can do is walk through the property manager when they do the condition report. The property manager may have some ideas of what you can do to put the property into its best light. If you can get a better quality tenant on tenant on a longer tenure, job done.  
    • When do you do your open for inspections, if you do them during business hours you are expecting people to take time of work to come and see them. Day that the property is advertised and the number of hits – on Saturday you have maximum chance of getting quality tenant number applications.  

Cate Bakos – The Property Buyer’s Golden nugget: you don’t have to love it, you just have to be proud of it. If you’re not proud of it, how can you ask a tenant to be proud of it? 

Peter Koulizos – The Property Professor’s Golden nugget: to avoid the tenant from hell, get yourself a decent property manager and they can alleviate a lot of the chances of getting the tenant from hell.  

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