Who makes a good Tenant?


The short answer to this question is “Not always the person you think!” Good Tenants cannot be judged on outward appearances alone- there have been plenty of well dressed, schmick Tenant/s who do a runner without paying rent and damage very exclusive properties.  The key to selecting a good Tenant is to have your Property Manager go through all the rental history and reference checks with you.  The idea is to pick the person who:

  • Has the capacity to afford the rent
  • Will pay the rent
  • Will look after and maintain the property well
  • Will have good business relationships with the Agency

There are laws protecting Tenants from bias on discriminatory bases and these are for good reason.  It is impossible to lump all people of a certain gender, age or nationality in the same basket.  Each person needs to be evaluated on their own merit.

The best indicator of future behaviour is in past behaviour.  It is highly unlikely that a person with a stellar rental history will suddenly become a bad Tenant.  So – reference checks are all important.  Your Property Manager seeks references as part of the Tenancy Application process and will undertake these on your behalf.  Don’t be afraid to question your Property Manager on the feedback on those references and if necessary to go back and find out more information or seek other references if there is something that doesn’t seem right.

Employment history is another good indicator – a person who maintains solid employment will generally have the capacity to pay their rent but it also shows that they are somewhat reliable, competent and worthy of employing on an on-going basis. 

Personal appearances are a less accurate gauge of whether someone will make a good Tenant, but if they are very unkempt and dirty, this will ring alarm bells about their standards of cleanliness and tidiness that may impact on how they maintain the property.  An exception to this could be a tradesperson coming straight from a job site to view a property.

Applications with pets are often discounted by Landlords if they have nominated a ‘no pet’ policy. BUT – it is more difficult for these people to secure long-term rentals and they are less likely to be transient meaning that they could be a better option if you are looking for a long-term Tenant.

No matter what age, gender or nationality – there are some common traits in good Tenants:

  • They are stable and are part of the community
  • They have secure employment or another means of paying the rent
  • They love the property and there is good reason for them to rent it. For example, if the property is close to the school where they teach, they are more likely to want to remain in the property due to the convenience factor
  • They have a strong rental history and understand their obligations as a Tenant when it comes to vacating a property
  • They are good communicators and will talk to the Property Manager about issues in a timely manner
  • They are respectful and polite and will not intimidate or annoy your neighbours

Looks can be deceiving – a flash car, expensive clothes and loads of jewellery could just mean a lot of debt and not a lot of substance!  Rely on references and the expertise of your Property Management team to help guide your decision-making process.