The Tenant Checklist - Start Vetting your Tenants!

A tenant checklist for vetting tenants is the best way to ensure you get good, long-term tenants in your rental property. This is the kind of task which should be done by your property manager if you have one, but is especially important if you are self-managing your investment property.

Nothing is entirely foolproof, but this checklist will help you avoid bad tenants, or even the nightmare tenants from hell.

The Checklist

  1. Always make sure you get references
  2. Request at least three months bank statements from your prospective tenant.
  3. Call their employer and ask how long they have worked for them.
  4. Use a credit referencing service.
  5. Find extra information, such as a utility bill in the tenant's name.
  6. Speak to their current real-estate agency, or if possible, some previous landlords
  7. Ask the tenant to show evidence of assets.
  8. Ask for a copy of the tenant’s passport and/or drivers license
  9. Secure a guarantor (eg: a parent)
  10. If you use a Management Agent (eg. Defence Housing Australia - DHA) find out about the company
  11. Does the Management Agent have a large management department?
  12. Ask to speak to some of their landlords

You might or might not be allowed to request some of these items when vetting tenants, under the privacy laws in your country. If in doubt, it is worth contacting your equivalent of the Privacy Commission (Australia).

A tenant who is really serious about showing themselves to be good quality (especially in a tight rental market) should willingly help you out with this information if you are polite about it.

A good tactic, when having an open inspection on your rental property, might be to hand a list of items to "please provide copies of…" to people requesting application forms.

Got a question about vetting tenants?

So... ask away!

Do you have a question about property investing that's not answered here or elswhere on this site?

Ask it here and we'll try our best to answer it for you. Sometimes there's some research involved, so please forgive us of we take a little while to post back.

Others can also comment (politely, please!) too and help you out. It's a bit like a forum and FAQ rolled into one!

Just remember, we're not financial advisers, so you should use the information we give here as a guide only (in relation to your personal circumstances) and see an accountant or financial adviser before proceeding further.

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