Getting the best value out of an investment rental is a collaborative effort between the landlord and a great tenant.

To achieve long-term returns on a rental, the property has to last – and that means finding tenants who are willing to look after the home just as much as you are. Paying the rent on time is always important, but beyond that, the best tenants are ones who will take care of the property, respect the neighbours and community, and will rent indefinitely.

So how can you attract a tenant you can trust? It all begins when you’re first buying your rental.

Choose the right property

Think about your ideal tenant. Are they perhaps a single, quiet student? A new family? Or maybe a working professional couple? Whoever they are, bear them in mind when choosing your investment property.

Rental properties have certain traits that may be on many potential tenant’s checklists:

Proximity – for example, students will want to live close to universities and a supermarket (as they may not have a car), while young families will prefer to be in zone for reputable schools.

Community – cleanliness and friendliness in a neighbourhood will attract most tenants and sets a precedent about how their home should be maintained.

Space – large bedrooms may appeal to many tenants who will be flatting, and thus spending most of their time in their bedrooms. Meanwhile, a yard will probably take priority for a young family.

Prepare yourself and your property for viewing

Anyone looking for the best available option will be quickly turned off if your property is poorly presented. Overgrown lawns, neglected repairs and any grime must go if you want a tenant who will respect the home.

Make a strong first impression on prospective tenants by boosting street appeal – tend to the front garden, repaint the front door and make sure the windows and weatherboard are reasonably clean. Before viewings commence, pay to have the home thoroughly cleaned.

Lastly, remember to present yourself as someone tenants will want to deal with, or hire a respectable property manager to handle tenant communications.

Screen your tenants

Take the chance during initial viewings to talk to potential tenants. Get a feel for their personality and lifestyle.

As part of the tenancy application process you should request proof of income to ensure your tenants will be able to meet rent obligations. Professional and personal references are also invaluable in finding trustworthy tenants.

Finally, be communicative. Call prospective tenants and have a conversation. This will show that you’re open to dialogue with them and give you another chance to understand who they are.

Need a mortgage broker?

If you’re ready to take on the rewarding challenge of investing in a rental property and need a hand finding the right home loan for you, contact us today.