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How To Find a Tenant for Your Rental Property


Tenant selection can be the difference between an investment property being financially fruitful or a failure. That’s why knowing how to find and choose tenants is vital for property owners.

While the majority of Australian property owners engage a real estate agent to manage tasks such as finding tenants, about 33 per cent manage their own property.

Both types of landlords have the option of using to either connect with an agency or list their rental property directly on the site. Let’s take a look at how to find a tenant for a rental property.

1. Present the property well

Shannyn Laird, operations manager at property management start-up :Different says the first step to getting a quality tenant is presenting the property in the right way.

Well-presented, decluttered properties, with no obvious maintenance or repairs outstanding generally attract the best tenants, she says. If the property is tenanted, landlords should incentivise tenants to present the property in the best way.

“Reassure them you’ll drive as much interest to the first open inspection and price the property correctly. Some landlords elect to send a professional cleaner (at a cost of about $80) or send flowers to the tenant to assist their efforts in presenting well,” Laird says.

plants in kitchen

Presentation will help with the marketing of a rental property. Picture: Getty

2. Use professional photography

Property mogul and real estate agent Tamara Wrigley says professional photos are a must.

She says for the small outlay, usually about $100 – $150 you can get beautiful, professional images of your home. These expenses may be claimable against the running costs of your rental property so be sure to check with your financial adviser or tax professional.

“If you’re surfing the internet and come across an image that is dark, dingy, grainy and only showing part of the home, opposed to bright, crisp clean, vibrant and wide angles, which one do you click on to view?” The answer is simple, Wrigley says.

3. Find a skilled real estate agent

Nowadays, property owners can choose to self-manage their property, via a private rental arrangement, or go down the more traditional route of paying an agent. For the latter, it’s all about finding a skilled, knowledgeable and experienced property manager.

Wrigley says for a small amount each week, owners can get peace of mind that their property is being looked after by a professional. And the fees may be tax-deductible.

“It’s more than just collecting the rent. It’s handling maintenance requests, dealing with issues during the tenancy and negotiating for each party, routine inspections, reports, listing the property, taking prospective tenants through, processing applications and conducting entry and exit reports. But more importantly, they have to know and abide by legislation,” she says.

Residential tenancies are governed by different laws in different states, so you want someone who knows their craft, Wrigley says.

real estate agent

Listing with an agent means they will take care of paperwork and communications. Picture: Getty

4. List the property online

Next is the all-important online listing. Landlords can find tenants, by either connecting with a real estate agency or listing their rental directly on, which has more than 19.7 million visits a month.

Historically, private landlords were restricted in where they could advertise their properties and had to rely mainly on social media, word-of-mouth and online selling platforms. But now, owners can pay $220 (including GST) for a standard ad on, which runs until a tenant is found. They can create, edit and save listings, so it’s easy to re-list later and also receive tenant enquiries by email, phone or SMS.

5. Select the best tenant

Whether it’s a professional property manager or the owner themselves selecting tenants, there are some fundamentals to follow to pick the best ones.

Wrigley says presentation, the prospective tenant’s ability to pay the rent, their job security and a strong rental history and references are all key.

Ensure you carry out the necessary checks on prospective tenants. Picture: Getty

Laird says to carry out all the necessary checks and consider any and all demographics and circumstances. Not every applicant is created equal.

“A retired couple who have always owned their own properties and have significant savings in the bank are just as likely to be exceptional tenants (despite no rental history) as a professional, young couple with solid rental history,” she says.

Also look for discrepancies in application forms versus supporting documentation. “For example, if a tenant references a property address, but a driver licence or utility bill has another listed address, make sure you dig further.”

This article was originally published on
19 Jan 2021 at 5:05pm
but has been regularly updated to keep the information current.


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