Most tenants are law-abiding, rent-paying individuals, just like most landlords are fair and reasonable business-people. But for every rule, there are exceptions.
The summer months are our busiest time of the year. Fixed tenancies often end, and tenants look to move when the weather is most likely to play ball. Below we discuss some of the ways that can help narrow down your applicants and help you secure the right tenants for your property.
This seems obvious, but ensure that the Tenancy Agreement is completed in full. Obtain photo ID (either a Driver’s License of Passport) and check that the correct identity details are completed in the Tenancy Agreement. If they don’t match, credit checks can come back clean when they otherwise would show issues.
Ensure all the people over the age of 18 that will be living at the address are included on the Tenancy Agreement. Sometimes when couples apply, only one partner will fill in the form because the other has bad credit, so ask for applications from them both. The same with a group. If the sole name on the lease leaves, you’ll be left with the other tenants, who may be more difficult to retrieve outstanding money from.
Ideally you should validate the income stated on the agreement against a wage slip from their employer or a bank statement. Without this there is no way to confirm that what has been stated is the reality.
Rented Tenancy Agreements are drafted and maintained by tenancy lawyers who ensure that they always meet current regulations. This ensures we work with a strong core document that is clear and easy to understand for all parties, reducing the chance of dealing with litigation in the future.
Applications are processed through an online portal. All the information that could be required throughout a tenancy is captured up front from the tenant. This includes additional details that make collection of any outstanding debt more likely.
Background and Credit Checking
At a minimum, complete a credit check of each applicant via one of the main credit reference agencies. A credit check often reveals multiple debts.
For a small fee, landlords can search the PPSR register at the Companies Office, which will turn up whether the applicant has goods on finance plans. This in itself isn’t an issue but should where the level of income declared doesn’t align – then it can raise a red flag.
At Rented we complete credit checks on applicants and have access to an additional level of background checking. This runs the applicant’s details through a database that includes 10 years of Tenancy Tribunal Orders, NZ Court rulings, Sensible Sentencing Trust judgements, media reports, Police information as well as numerous other sources.
Employer and Landlord References
Landlord references are good, employer ones can be even more useful. Tenants should always list at least three referees on their application. These should be called and the information given validated for consistency between the different parties.
If you have any questions regarding best practice for Tenant Screening please feel free to get in touch with your local Rented Property Manager.