The relationship between landlord, property manager and tenant is a delicate one. Little issues can mar it, and make the experience unpleasant for both parties. In order to avoid such problems, make sure you ask these questions of your new property manager.

1. How do you screen the application? A detailed application form is essential. It needs to include an Authorisation to Release Information document, so that the credit information provided by the applicant can be verified.

2. Do you confirm references? Your agent will contact the references given by the applicant and keep a record of what they said, as well as get in touch with the employer of the applicant to find out more about the applicant’s income, and ask the previous landlords about the applicant’s history.

3. Does your Property Manager get a credit rating agency to make the applicant’s credit report? Most in Australia use a database called TICA which is a highly trusted organisation.

4. Payment ability is very important if you are a landlord. Ask your PM what formula they use to calculate whether a tenant has suitable income for your property. Higher income does not automatically translate into regular rent. Those with a lower income and fewer expenses are sometimes more likely to pay rent in time, as compared to someone with a higher income, a bad credit, mortgage, and other expenses.

5. In Australia, most states require a four week security deposit plus two weeks in advance. A down payment of 2 weeks is usually paid by the tenant at the time of approval. Ask your PM if they also recommend an extra deposit for bond in the case of dogs being approved for the property.

6. Ask how thorough their entry/exit reports are. Before your tenant’s move-in day, your PM will photograph the property and prepare a detailed report on its condition. This will hold up in court as evidence should the tenant damage the property.

A good tenant is valuable. Taking these precautions will ensure that you have a good relationship with your property manager and tenant.

By Michelle Papik

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