Renting Out Your House in Malaysia: How Do You Find The Perfect Tenant?

Finding the perfect tenant can be a difficult task, but not impossible! Make sure you hire a real estate agent, run financial and reference checks, carry out tenant screenings, select by demographics, and don't say yes immediately – you won't find yourself having too much trouble then.
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If you’ve rented out your property before, or know someone who has, you'd know that it’s no laughing matter to rent out to unpleasant tenants. 

Every landlord wants a good tenant – one who pays up on time, keeps your property clean, and isn’t a troublemaker.

Well, finding a good tenant is possible, though the search isn’t guaranteed to be easy! Here are some tips you can use before accepting a new property renter.

 

1. Hire a real estate agent 

Real estate agents are professionals who handle all property-related matters. Finding a suitable tenant isn’t easy work, but their vast connections can quickly link you up with one.

Since they're also well-informed about the property market, they can offer you inside information about trends in the market (rental rates tend to fluctuate easily), so that you can offer a fair price that's more attractive.

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On top of that, these agents are able to negotiate rental prices on your behalf and handle all the legal procedures, so that you won't have to be confused by the legal jargon and likely get yourself into a sticky situation.

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2. Run financial checks

There are two kinds of financial checks that you, as a landlord, are allowed to run on a potential renter: income checks, and credit checks. Let's take a closer look at both.

a) Income check

This will indicate whether a person is financially stable to afford your price tag, and whether or not he or she will be able to make payments on time.

You can simply request for a candidate’s pay stubs for the past three to six months as ample proof. In fact, you could even call up his/her employer to verify that the figures reflected are indeed accurate.

The general rule of thumb for you to take note of, is that a tenant’s monthly gross income should be at least thrice the rental cost

b) Credit check

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To run a credit check, you’ll need to hire screening services from an external company. This is where an independent information provider will help you make better decisions.

A credit check is a review of an individual's history, which will reveal if your potential tenant has had prior evictions, civil judgments, or bankruptcies.

 

3. Do reference checks

Apart from knowing a prospective tenant’s history, you might also want to know about his or her conduct as a person.

For example, you might be curious to find out if the candidate is an irresponsible character, or someone who’s unlikely to follow basic house rules. 

You can perform a reference check by calling up the previous landlord of a prospective tenant, and asking about the landlord’s overall experience.

You might be able to obtain important information that you would have otherwise not have known until it was too late!

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4. Carry out tenant screenings

Tenant screening is a comprehensive background check conducted on your prospective tenant. Usually, landlords hire an external screening service to run this check.

The screening will reveal things such as a person’s medical, criminal and commercials records (if any) as well as employment history. Alternatively, you can arrange for an informal interview with your prospective tenant.

Make sure to ask about the reasons behind his/her stay, and use the meeting as an opportunity to get to know the person as well as possible.

If it turns out that the candidate is a suitable fit, the exchange could be an opportunity to build early rapport.

 

5. Select wisely by demographic 

If you’ve had a string of bad experiences with say, student tenants who always left huge messes, it might be prudent to simply rule student tenants out as candidates.

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While there are surely great ones whom you may not have met yet, shortlisting based on your preferred demographic will help you streamline the overall selection process.  

Perhaps you might feel more comfortable renting out to middle-aged working couples, who will be a good tenant fit for you, due to their lifestyle.

 

6. Don’t say yes immediately

Don’t rush into securing a tenant. Given that your tenant will be living in your property for an extended period of time, you want to make sure you’re getting someone you're comfortable, so trust your instincts! 

Evaluate more prospective tenants if feasible, and take your time to decide on one. When it comes to assessing candidates, it’s also helpful to identify what are the deal breakers for you so that you aren't easily swayed by charm.

 

If you’re looking to rent out your property, it’s only natural to want tenants that won’t make your life a hassle. This is where a tenancy agreement can help. However, note that you as a landlord, will have certain obligations too. Learn more about them here.

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