If you've got a fantastic portfolio of residential investment properties – or even just one! – there's a good chance you'll want to keep them in the best condition you can. A lot of this comes down to the kind of tenant you pick to live in your rental.

Of course, picking a tenant is not as simple as pulling a name out of a hat – by recognising the following characteristics, you'll be able to make a good choice!

Reliable payments

Rental income is the lifeblood of your investment property especially in the early stages, so you want to make sure that you've got a tenant who can reliably pay their rent on time and in the right amounts. You've probably whittled down the choices to a few favourites by this stage, but to figure out a winner, ring around their past landlords or property managers for a recommendation.

If you want to be a bit more sure, you can even ask for a record of their rental history- this will show whether the tenant was on top of making payments, or if they were a bit erratic. 

Clean and tidy

Whether you're saving towards buying your own home or setting your kids up for the future, the last thing you want to do is spend a crazy amount of time and money sorting out a big repair and maintenance bill! Word of mouth is the best way to figure out whether you're agreeing to a wrecking ball moving in. If the tenant is new to the rental market, check with their employer or personal references on their application – you'll get an idea of their personality pretty quickly.

If you need a little more help – and, let's face it, we all do sometimes – get your property manager on board. They'll have plenty of experience picking the duds from the success stories. 

Of course, finding a good tenant is a two-way street! Think about what you can offer them, as well. You might need to spruce up the property a bit, or lower the rent – compromise is key when running a rental. 

Here's to your financial independence!

Daniel Carney
Authorised Financial Adviser / Investment Property Expert

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