Carolyn Parella, executive manager of Terri Scheer Insurance . Photo:

Carolyn Parella, executive manager of Terri Scheer Insurance . Photo:

Renting a property has never been more risky. High rates of joblessness, a rising cost of living, and skyrocketing house prices mean that more and more people will only be able to afford to rent and not buy.

But this larger pool of tenants also increases a Landlord’s chances of attracting those with poor records and ill-intent.

Carolyn Parrella, executive manager of Terri Scheer Insurance has released a series of guidelines to help prospective landlords sift the good from the bad. In fact, her tips read much like advertising for a job:

  1. If possible, know the type of tenant you want and buy an investment property that will appeal to them. “Properties that are close to good schools, shops n public transport,” she said, “are likely to be well sought after and may give you a larger pool of prospective tenants form which to choose.”
  2. Thoroughly check the references of applicants. “Speak with previous landlords or property managers and ask specifically whether they had any issues with the tenant in the past.”
  3. Make your property appealing. “A property that is poorly presented by the landlord may be poorly cared for by the tenant.”
  4. Definitely have a property manager. These people make their living from screening and finding the best tenants. They have access to database lists containing histories of defaults, damages, and evictions.
  5. Be prompt in attending to maintenance issues. “A tenant who isn’t getting the attention they deserve might begin to question their commitment to your property and become more careless with it.”
  6. Always, always have Landlord insurance. Bad luck happens. Even the best tenants can lose their jobs and be unable to pay rent on time. The right type of insurance will cover landlords from both malicious and accidental damages, it will ensure them for most legal liability and protect them from loss of rent.

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