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One of the big reasons people don’t invest in property is because they watch too many sensationalized news stories. They fear the moment they buy an investment property, they’ll get tenants who will move in with 20 dogs, 15 cats, and their pet chickens, and end up trashing the place and leaving without paying any rent! Let’s talk about how you avoid that scenario!

I want to cover the two qualities that ‘tenants from hell’ have and how to stay away from them, which part of the market to buy from in order to avoid tenants from hell, what makes a good property manager (as property managers are a very important part of the process), and landlord insurance.

There are two common qualities of a tenant from hell;

  1. Lack of respect for Authority
  2. Lack of respect for peoples possessions (namely your investment property).

Think about it, if people have a lack of respect for authority and peoples possessions, what sort of career success do you think they have?
People from low economic environments are not always bad tenants, in fact the majority of these people are good people, but unfortunately the majority of bad tenants are almost always found in low economic environments. The key here is to stay away from the low end of the market, and you will stay away from the majority of bad tenants.

Get yourself a good Property Manager. There are a couple of questions you should always ask a potential Property Manager when you are looking for a suitable candidate to manage your property.

 The first question should be how many properties do you have under management? Most property managers like to brag about how many properties they have under their management when attracting new business. It’s a good question to ask first as they will normally tell you the truth.  The next question to ask them shortly after is how many staff do you have working in your rental department? These two answers will very quickly help you work out what their ratio is between number of staff for each property and how many properties they are managing each. This is important information to know because if you think about what a rental manager has to do, and at the very least they should do a rental inspection every 6 months. When they do that inspection they should be taking photos and reporting everything in detail to you as the landlord of the property. If your rental manager is overworked, they are going to cut corners on their rental inspections and not do all the checks they are meant to do, which will ultimately effect you and your investment.

 I say to people 150 properties per rental manager is okay, but if they have any more then you are starting to get into dangerous territory. If  they have more than 250 properties per rental manager, then you should run in the other direction!

 Another very good question to ask your rental manager is, how many properties do you own yourself? Be very careful of the young 18-20 rental manager who doesn’t own any properties themselves. It is only another landlord that truly understands what a landlord requires, values, and understands the work you have put in to get to the point where you need someone to look after your asset for you. Good rental managers will screen your tenants and make sure you don’t get a tenant from hell.

I’ve talked about prevention measures (where you will stay away from the low end of the market) and the importance of getting a good property manager. These two strategies will reduce your risk for bad tenants, but to ensure you are better covered, make sure you have landlord insurance. You can get a good landlord insurance policy for about $500 per year, and this should cover you for malicious damages.  As always, check the writing on your individual policy and make sure it has all the coverage you need.

 Don’t let a fear of tenants from hell stop you from investing in property!

There is lots and lots of money to be made from investing in property, and if you take on board these tips and ensure you are covered by insurance, at the end of the day, a tenant from hell will only do so much damage. The gains that you make from investing in property should far exceed the damage one bad tenant could do.
If you need any help with education coaching or mentoring, go to www.propertyinvestmentmentor.com.au. Alternatively, if you are after a really good investment property that’s been researched thoroughly and is in a great location,  go to www.integrityproperty.com.au.

 Good luck investing.

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