Know the answers to these tenant questions and demonstrate your worth to your prospective renters! Here are just a few of the queries you’ll come across:
What kind of insulation is installed here?
This is a question that is particularly frequent before or during the winter months. Under recent law changes, you are required to provide an insulation report to any prospective tenant.
An insulated property is a warmer, drier and healthier property, and will often attract more long-term tenants.
2. How often do you perform inspections?
Regular inspections are a necessity to ensure the continued quality of a property and the safety and comfort of your tenants. However, they can be an imposition if they aren’t announced early enough in advance, or are too frequent.
You can technically inspect once in every four week period, but for most tenants this isn’t necessary. It’s better not to do it too frequently, as it can understandably become extremely irritating for your tenants. We would recommend setting an inspection date every 3-6 months.
3. Are lightbulbs considered consumables or wear and tear?
Depending on the type of lightbulbs you use, you may find that it is more fair to consider them as wear-and-tear rather than consumables. This tends to be true in the case of bulbs that are non-standard or difficult to replace.
If they are considered wear-and-tear, it is your responsibility as the landlord to replace them. If they are consumables, they fall into the responsibility of the tenant. Either way, make sure this is made clear in your tenancy agreement.
4. What kind of heating system is available?
By law, you are required to provide some source of heat for each living room in the house. However, many tenants look out for rental properties that go beyond the bare minimum.
If you can install a multi-room heat pump or some other form of heat that can keep your renters comfortable all year round, you’ll tend to find they are more likely to stay for longer.
Read more: What is the best home heating system?
5. When are rent payments due?
If you expect monthly rental payments, you will need to stipulate specifically which date the rent is due on. Most landlords put this near the end of the month, in order to avoid doubling up on rental costs at the start of the tenancy.
However, you can also ask for fortnightly or weekly rental payments instead. This allows you to have a more steady stream of income over time. But it also requires more bureaucracy on both your part and the tenant’s.
6. What are the neighbours like?
The quality of the neighbours can make or break a good tenancy. If you have a neighbourhood of barking dogs, loud cars and aggressive residents, you may find that people aren’t as interested in renting your property.
You need to be able to honestly say who your tenant’s neighbours will be, and what they are like. Answer as truthfully as possible, as trying to be liberal with the truth at this point could result in a quick vacancy once the tenant figures it out.
7. Do you use a property manager?
If you use a property manager, chances are you’re not going to be the one who is fielding these questions in the first place. Property managers are the ones who deal with these inquiries and help solve the tenants’ problems.
Tenants want to know if you’re using a property manager because they want to know who is going to be their primary point of contact.
8. What kind of lease are you expecting to use?
As a landlord, you have the choice between a fixed-term and a periodic lease. Under the first, your tenancy agreement lasts for a fixed period of time, usually six to twelve months. Under the second, the tenant or the landlord can provide their notice at any time.
If you think a prospective tenant will be a good one, it can be worthwhile to provide a fixed-term lease. This gives both yourself and your tenant security of income (for you), and security of tenure (for them).
9. Are there any known issues with the property?
Tenants can be your eyes and ears for problems in the property—but they are more likely to work with you if you are open about any already existing issues.
You don’t need to advertise them, but simply let your tenants know that there’s a crack in the ceiling here, or that the floorboard is loose there. If tenants know what is normal and what isn’t, they are more likely to be able to spot any further damage or new problems and notify you accordingly.
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