They say when it comes to real estate, location is the most crucial factor. In fact, it’s said location is also the second and third most important factor to consider. However, when we speak of Dubai rental property, short-listing a top-notch tenant overrules everything else.
If you want to protect your investment in the long run, you need to start by looking for a really good tenant. Let’s look at it this way: even in a not-so-great location, a good tenant is better than a bad tenant in the best location.
Out with the Bad, in with the Good
Here’s the problem – landlords just beginning to rent out their homes, even some of the experienced ones, fail to do the necessary legwork required to shortlist tenants who will pay rent on time and keep the place like new, as if it were their own. This is where landlords get the short end, and we need to do everything we can to make sure we don’t end up in a troublesome situation.
Many landlords will agree to the fact that identifying a really good tenant can be a nerve-racking part of the process. Sometimes, it’s more difficult to rid your home of a bad tenant than finding a good one. Get it right from the start, and you’ll never see a day where you have to inevitably go through the dreaded eviction process.
Good tenants are out there. You’ll need to be proactive in order to decide which one to lease your home to.
Get Your Checklist Ready
Whether you are a newbie landlord or one who’s been renting property for a while, here’s how you go about short-listing only the best tenants:
Appearances and Personal Hygiene
It’s always a good idea to meet your prospective tenant along with your Dubai property agent when its time to show them around. Generally, you should let the agent do the talking though don’t hold back when you have questions of your own.
As far as appearances go, they can be misleading: a guy pulling up in your driveway while revving his Harley and sporting a long beard may prove to be a really good tenant. Well, as long as the bike doesn’t have people complaining every time he starts it up. Similarly, a sharp-looking suited and booted person driving a Prius could very well be Mr. Right. Either way, pay close attention to personal hygiene – if they don’t look after themselves, they probably won’t look after your place either.
They’re All the Same: Human
There’s not need discriminate over race, religion, color, gender or nationality. Dubai happens to have a very diverse culture and has people living from all over the globe. However, if you get a bad vibe from a tenant at the first meeting, or something seems off as you talk to them and observe their body language, it is best to move on to the next prospect. Your agent is someone who has a really good nose for identifying certain things that seem odd or suspicious.
Asking the Right Questions
To make conversation, many newbie landlords tend to ask questions about the tenant’s hometown, their family, or what school/college they went to, in order to size them up and establish a rapport. However, what’s really important is that you determine their financial capabilities.
You should discuss with your agent what questions he/she will be specifically asking the prospect. For example questions like how long they’ve been living at their current address, the rent they are paying there, their place of work, monthly or annual earnings. Another important question to ask is why they are leaving their current rented home. Maybe there was an eviction. Or maybe they didn’t have a choice due to the owner selling their property or increasing the rent drastically. Either way, you must know in advance.
Verify a Few Things
Here’s a good start: interview your prospect’s landlord over the phone. What rent is the tenant currently paying? How long have they been living at the current rental space? Was it up to them to take care of the place or the owner? Did they face any issues at all while living there? Chances are the tenant was good to them if you hear something along the lines of “I’m sorry to see him go” or “He was a good tenant, sure hate to lose him.”
Also ask if there were any outstanding bills or late rent payments on the tenant’s part.
This is very important: calling the prospect’s employer to verify their employment. They should be working there for at least 2-3 years; you don’t want to rent out your home to someone who hops from one job to the next every few months. Also ask about their general attitude at work and determine if they’ve had any financial woes worth mentioning.
Ask your agent to pay a visit to the prospect’s current residence. This will give you a good idea on how they are maintaining their rented place. More or less, they will treat your place the same way they are treating the current landlord’s home.
After taking these steps, if your prospective tenant still does not meet your requirement or standards, you’ll be denying the lease of course. Alternatively, you could reconsider and ask for a co-signer, higher security deposit and monthly rent. However, you need to weigh the risks carefully; if you feel the prospect is someone who may be unable to make payments on time or not keep the place as you’d like, you would be wise to not sign the lease and start getting to know the next prospect.
Protect your investment by running this checklist and rely on the services of a highly experienced Dubai agent who will do everything they can to shortlist only the most promising and genuine prospects for you.