Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Get the right renters

Selecting the right tenant is key to the success of your rental property. John Leahy outlines the steps to successfully screen potential tenants.
From the very first contact with the tenant, the screening process has begun.
But with rents falling and more and more people seeking bargains in the rental market, finding suitable tenants can become a long and arduous process. With our advice, you can make the task of finding the right tenants a lot less painful.
STEP 1: Phone contact
First contact with potential tenants is usually by telephone. Always answer the phone in a professional business like manner.
Have a checklist of searching questions that allows you to collect basic details, such as:
How many people will be living there?
Can they provide references?
Can they pay the security deposit?
Why are they moving?
Contact details ?
Inform prospective tenants of the rent, property features, deposit required, lease term, etc. Your goal with the initial phone contact is to get suitable tenants to arrange a viewing of the property.
STEP 2: Showing the property
Set up appointments to view the property, making sure to stagger the appointments so that prospective tenants do not arrive together. When prospective tenants come, introduce yourself and show them around the property. This also allows you a better opportunity to talk to and assess prospective tenants and to verify the information provided during the initial phone conversation.
Let the applicant know that his or her application will be considered along with others, and you will notify the applicant once a decision is made.
STEP 3: Selecting and making a decision
Once all viewings have been completed, benchmark each prospective tenant against your selection criteria. You are looking for the tenant who you believe:
Will pay their rent on time and in full;
Can provide good references;
Will respect the property and not cause damage;
Wont cause annoyance or disturbance to neighbours;
Will stay for the duration of the lease.
Always be objective. Don’t discriminate and act quickly, as prospective tenants will almost certainly be viewing a number of properties.
STEP 4: Get a holding deposit

Get a holding deposit from your chosen tenant as soon as possible in order to take the property off the market. Once you receive a holding deposit, give the tenant a receipt for it. Inform the tenant that offering him ofher the property is subject to satisfactory reference checks.
STEP 5: Get and check references

Always look for at least two written references. Suitable references include:

EMPLOYER – this should include the name, address and telephone number of the employer. How long has the person been in their job? Is it a permanent position?
Previous Landlord – always look for a reference from a previous landlord. How long did the tenant live there?
Bank – if the tenant does not have a bank account or building society account, how are they going to pay the rent?

Always check the references and that the referee actually exists. Also, ask for photo ID such as a passport in order to verify the tenant’s identity.  Once you are happy with the references, arrange a move in day with the tenant, and then the real fun begins!