But by taking the time to search for the right tenant from the outset, landlords can minimise these risks and avoid any additional costs.
From face-to-face interviews to checking a prospective renter’s credit history, global real estate network Lamudi takes a look at five simple tips for selecting the right tenant for your property.
If you are managing the property yourself, rather than hiring a real estate agent, the rapport you have with the tenants will be crucial. If time permits, schedule face-to-face meetings with the applicants. If you live out of town, set up a phone call instead. Spending time on this crucial step could save you a lot of problems during the tenancy.
Require certain documents of all applicants and be thorough in verifying these. As well as a copy of their identity card or passport, proof of income should be provided. This should take the form of both a work contract and copies of their most recent payslips. In order to ensure the tenant can afford to lease the property, the rent should not be more than about a third of their total monthly income. For extra security, home owners can also require references from previous landlords. In Kenya, some landlords will require your identification card, filling a form that requires more information on the tenant for getting a lease.
Perhaps the most important component of the screening process is verifying the prospective tenant’s credit history. This will tell you whether they have any outstanding debt, as well as whether they have a history of paying their bills on time. Even if they can afford the rent based on their current salary, they may have accumulated debt and these repayments will need to be factored into their budget. In Kenya, most banks will want to check your statements when giving a loan for a property and a copy of the title deed.
When reviewing an application, look closely at the prospective tenant’s rental history. Have they moved around a lot, or do they tend to stay in a property more long term? Most landlords will be looking for a tenant who is stable and willing to stay for a longer period. A patchy rental history where the tenant has moved house frequently could be a sign that there have been issues between the person and their previous landlords.
All the information and documentation the renter has provided checks out, and you are almost ready to select the new tenant. However, there is something holding you back from offering them the contract. Even though everything seems to be in order, you feel uncomfortable renting your property to this particular individual. Always listen to this gut feeling and trust your instincts before making a final decision.
Launched in 2013, Lamudi is a global property portal focusing exclusively on emerging markets. The fast-growing platform is currently available in 32 countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, with more than 800,000 real estate listings across its global network. The leading real estate marketplace offers sellers, buyers, landlords and renters a secure and easy-to-use platform to find or list properties online.
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