Tenant Selection in NZ: How to make sure you get the right fit tenant for your rental property

By accessibleproperty

November 6, 2020

Finding the right tenant for your property is paramount. If you don’t have the time to vet your tenants, it’s at your own peril. If you want professional assistance and advice, Property Managers are there to assist you and will ensure you get the tenant who will be the kind of occupant you want in your rental property.

Whether you have purchased an investment property or are in the market to rent out the home you live/lived in, getting a good tenant is so important. 

Between the horror stories from family and friends about nightmare tenants, to worrying about whether the person or persons you rent to will treat your property with the love and respect it deserves, tenant selection can end up being a rather stressful process. This is more so if you don’t live in the same city in New Zealand, or are overseas/ an absentee landlord or landlady. It becomes critical that you have professional help to ensure your tenant is a good fit for your property, be it a flat, villa, or townhouse. The rental market is booming, what with over a million New Zealanders renting a place to live. 

Make a list of potential tenants

Making a list and checking it twice is good practice when it comes to the dos and do- nots you have in mind for a prospective tenant. You need to think through what the deal breakers may be for you when it comes to a prospective tenant ( for example, too many occupants, large dog, or bad credit check), and you also need to set out clearly the expectations you have of a prospective tenant. This includes the usual ones like paying the rent on time or by the agreed upon date, keeping the property clean and tidy, including the upkeep of the garden and lawn or pool, if there’s one. 

You too have responsibilities as a landlord/ landlady. Fair tenancy, including no discrimination and abiding by the Residential Tenancies Act (including the changes announced by the government in 2019), and providing the property in a good condition are all landlord duties. Putting all this down on paper and sharing it with the company who is listing the rental property for you will go a long way in ensuring a smooth tenancy process.

Matching the right tenant to your property

This includes evaluating what stage of life the tenant is in – do they match the kind of place you are renting and where it is located too? There is some truth to “location, location, location”. For example, for an apartment, perhaps students or young working professionals are best, and for a downtown or other area with young people and a lively nightlife. The suburbs and residential areas known for schools will likely attract families with children. If your home is in a quiet part of the city or town, or in an area where many older people live, then retirees might be the target tenant for you.

Every neighbourhood and every type of property, from apartment or flat or villa or unit to new construction or historic building or old style build – each one will attract and be suitable for a particular tenant profile.

Some questions to ask yourself before choosing your tenant

  • Are you okay with pets? 
  • Are you looking for a fixed or periodic tenancy? Can a tenant stay beyond their term or do you expect them to immediately vacate?
  • Do you allow sharing of rooms if you are renting to students or young professionals? Do you have a limit on the number of people who can live on the property?

How A Property Manager can help with tenant selection

Why should you hire a professional to find the right tenants? Aside from saving yourself from hassle, you also get the influence and knowledge that a professional property management like Morison Property Management offers. They will take care of advertising your property across various mediums including radio, print, and digital. They can take over choosing and matching your property up with suitable prospects, help with background and credit checks, and even get referrals from prior landlords which increases trust in the process and is likely to bring a better quality of renter to the table.

They can also advise you on the right amount to charge as rent and for the bond. 

Basically, having an experienced property manager involved with the process of choosing renters means the tenant will be far more suitable for your property. They also help to present a more professional appearance to your potential tenants, which helps in the long run. Many tenants prefer to deal with a middle-man than the owners too.