Finding a good, reliable tenant can be a tedious task.
Finding a good, reliable tenant can be a tedious task. Alexander Raths

5 ways to avoid 'tenants from hell'

SCREENING for dependable tenants to live in rental properties is a task plagued with pressure and risks.

Approving of the wrong tenants could leave you with a costly mess like working single mum Christine Beatty.

Ms Beatty was confronted with slum-like conditions at her once-clean rental residence when her tenants up and left without paying $5000 owed in rent.

The Mongogarie rental property owner wasn't alone in her plight.

A Ballina Shire homeowner, who privately rents out her home, knows first hand the struggles of bad tenants.

The homeowner, who didn't want to be named, said they have been robbed about $1000 in rent after her tenants skipped town out of the blue and disconnected their phones.

After some helpful ways to avoid terrible tenants? read on:

1. Employment status

For most experts and landlords, being assured a prospective tenant would be able to pay rent is crucial.

General manager of landlord insurer Terri Scheer, Carolyn Parrella said questions about the person's employment, such as how long they've worked with their employer and what industry they work can provide an idea of job stability.

CANSTAR suggested a big red flag can be identified if a potential tenant reveals they have had more than two addresses in the past two years because it may indicate that they have broken leases or been evicted more than once.

2. References

Talking to previous landlords and personal references helps you develop a vivid picture of the person who may be moving into your place, consumer support wesbite, Clark said.

The consumer support agency recommended asking the person's landlords how clean this applicant was and if they paid their rent on time.

"Did they have loud parties? Did they part amicably? Those are the things you want to know," the website suggests.

3. Chat to your friends

Maybe a friend of a friend may know just the tenant you are looking for? The suggestion comes from Carolyn Parrella, general manager of specialist landlord insurer Terri Scheer.

Ms Parrella told realestate.com.au that seeding out your property listing information to your friends and family could be a useful way to connect to a new tenant via trusted and already established networks.

4. Facebook stalking

There's nothing like a bit of online sleuthing to find out someone's true colours.

For the homeowner from Ballina, this technique helped her weed out potentially dodgy future tenants.

5. Pay a real estate agent to manage your property

LJ Hooker Byron Bay property investment manager, Kathryn Sinclair said Ms Beatty and the Ballina homeowner's experiences were examples why paying a real estate agent is the safest approach to take when letting out your home.

She said paying the extra money for an agent would leave landlords at ease with the property manager able to access a wealth of resources to ensure the tenant would be suitable.

Easy access to the TICA database, Australia's largest tenancy database, reveals if a tenant has "been naughty before", Ms Sinclair said.

Regular inspections of the property and assisting the landlord screen tenants were among the benefits Ms Sinclair noted how real estate agents "ensure everything is in working order".



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