There are plenty of horrible stories about tenants which are easily available online or from experienced landlords. From small offensive behavior to major red flags such as illegal sublets, unruly behaviors, allowing strangers to stay over and in some more extreme cases, defaulting on monthly rental. Although it would be unreasonable to assume that all potential tenants are bad apples, some precautions should be exercised when selecting a potential tenant for the private condominium or HDB. For inexperienced landlord managing his or her own property, such menial problems could escalate into a bigger problem if left unchecked. Imagine, having months of unpaid rents, costly repairs and maintenance works or worse, laborious legal proceedings involved to evict a troublesome tenant. In order to avoid such problems, landlord should filter potential tenants before considering to rent the property to them, be it condominium in Bukit Batok or HDB in Bedok.
1. General appearance
First impression of your property is a very important aspect to convince the fellow tenant to rent from you. Naturally, a decently managed property would attract a better selection of tenants compared to a poorly managed one. You do not necessarily need to have a latest top of the line condominium with high end furnishings and fittings. A decently presented property that is neat and tidy, free of any offensive odour and have all the right furnishing and application in good condition would be preferred. Do understand that your potential tenants are also looking for a place to call home. If you are not sure about the current outlook of your property, it would be best to get a second opinion on that matter. Providing the right mix of furnishing and appliances could be one of the deciding factors for tenants to lease your place instead of other possible competitions.
2. Understand your tenants
Before agreeing to anything, landlords should take the effort to do some screening of their potential tenants. Consider the process of choosing a tenant akin to a job interview. You would want to ask the right questions to ensure that they are who they are instead of being deceived or mislead by them. Firstly, it is good to establish their financial position. Ask them how much are they making and would they be comfortable with the amount of rental being asked. Do some simple calculations and estimate their monthly spending. It is rather difficult for a person earning about $2,500 to $3,000 per month to afford a place that cost more than 1/3 of their net salary. This would eliminate the risk of them defaulting on rental and their affordability to lease the condo or HDB. In addition, other relevant questions such as who they would be staying with, what kind of lifestyle they are having, whether they plan to have pets or their past renting experience could be used as an indicator on the quality of the tenant you are potentially renting the property to. It is important to be able to ask those questions respectfully in order to prevent the potential tenant from being offended with such personal questions.
3. Basic background checks
After the initial interview, you should do your own due diligence. Ask for referrals to previous landlord or landlords in order for you to verify their story. Some basic questions like tenancy duration, payment behaviors, and condition of the property after they moved in and out would be a good indicator on the reliability of the potential tenants. Besides that, you should attempt to reach out to their employers to ensure that the tenant is legally employed and are commanding the salary they disclosed to you during the interview. Finally, double check their documentations if they are not local, such as passports, work permits or relevant documentations with the agencies in charge. It is important not to be misled by cunning tenants about such important details.
4. Employ common sense
If you are renting the whole unit condo in Bukit Batok out for a price of $2,500 but you received an offer higher than the said amount, you should be extra careful in such matters. You should listen to your instinct and move on to the next candidate if you have any doubt towards the sincerity of the tenant. Greed should not cloud your better judgements when it comes to selecting a tenant for the property. Sometimes, being greedy may result in a higher total loss of income and opportunity due to bad tenants.
5. Be Flexible
Finally, put yourself in the tenant’s shoe. It is good to set up some rules to prevent yourself from being taken advance of by such tenants but it is a good practice to be flexible as well. Do not impose too much rules that may be seen as cumbersome for the tenants to employ during their stay in condo or government housing. For example, it would be okay to let the tenant hang some photos or anything after informing them that they have to restore the wall or that specific area to its original condition before moving out.