Choosing the best tenant is one of the most crucial choices made in relation to your investment property. It makes sense that you don’t let such an important decision lie solely on gut instinct, but a procedure of screening tenants that is strategic in uncovering not just surface information, but much deeper beneath the surface of the application form.
100 points of ID is commonly used in conjunction with an application form, however determining the best documents to use is highly important. When choosing which documents would best support an application, think carefully about the point value that you would give to each, to ensure you receive as much information as possible to make the most informed decision.
Some documents of lower point value:
- Birth certificate – is often given up to 70 points of value. Yet in the case of a prospective tenant would be of lower point value as it does not reflect name changes.
- Last 4 rent receipts – does not always show paid to and from dates
- Credit/Eftpos card – confirms a name only
Some more useful documents and of higher point value:
- Driver’s license with photo ID
- Current utility accounts such as phone/gas/electricity
- Medicare card – use to match names of occupants who are to reside in the premises and raise further questioning should there be extra names listed on the card
- A rent ledger (if renting through an agent) – shows whole payment history of tenancy,
- Copy of bank statement – used to verify income as shown on an application
- Current/Valid Passport
- Rates Notice/Water Account – again confirming a residential address
- Centrelink Income Statement – confirms name, address and can be verified with bank statement
- Last 4 wage/pay advice slips –can be verified with bank statement
These documents not only show that they are who they claim to be, but also confirm their current and possibly their previous address, so that you can then ensure you are contacting the relevant property owner or agent for a reference.
Found the right tenant?
Happy Landlord, Happy Agent – that’s only part of the story. Should tenants only hear from us when they do the wrong thing? Late rent, inspections not up to scratch, gardens overgrown!! Of course there is contact when we need to arrange maintenance or appointments. And working together with the tenant is a beneficial outcome for all involved. Its recognising the little things and rewarding tenants that can make a valuable tenant a ‘Happy’ one. Incentives go a long way … so put the effort in to retaining them!
A few ideas…
• ‘Certificate of Encouragement‘ for a tenant who consistently pays on time
• Kids certificate for a tidy room at an inspection– parents do the cleanup but both will get a kick out of it.
• Reduce their water bill for maintaining gardens to a high standard.
• Small renovations such as updating the property with new carpets, fresh paint or a new appliance, eg dishwasher.
• Small gift during the year or for an occasion such as Christmas, birthday or birth of a child.
Reward and recognize good tenants and discourage their urge to move!