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Ask An Expert: Find The Best Tenant

Friday, March 30, 2012

Shirley asks the APIA Expert Panel

How do I find the best tenant for my property?

The APIA Elves Answer

Fret not Shirley, you are not alone.  In fact, many of our members are just like you, they are full time professional people who happen to invest in properties on the side.  Self management is a big decision and can potentially eat into a lot of your free time. That is why some people choose to employ property managers.  This is not meant to sound defeatist, it is something you have to be prepared for before you get into it. 
I will say this, self management is possible and can save you a lot of money in property management fees.  The vital first step, and I can't stress this enough, is to make sure you have a good and manageable tenant.  Tenant selection is a big determinant is how easy your life is going to be as a self managing landlord.  Sloppy selection will cost you big time down the track. 
Don't get me wrong, being a landlord is not about us versus them.  Tenants are not bad.  Unfortunately there are some tenants who will value other expenses over payment rent on time and who probably do not have the same standard of house keeping as you would have liked.  You want to rent your property out to someone you can trust and work with.
You know the game Where's Wally?  Tenant selection is a bit like that.  From afar, practically all applicants look the same (on paper that is).  You really have to get into the nitty-gritties and dig deep in order to find your ideal tenant.  Credit and background checks go without saying.  Here is a more in-depth step by step guide of good tenant selection process.  
Good luck!

The APIA Property Expert Panel is ready to answer your property questions.  Write us an email to elves@apia.org.nz and we will get you an answer pronto!

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