Choosing the right tenant

Wednesday April 3 2019

Prospective clients check out houses at Regina Estate

Prospective clients check out houses at Regina Estates Lubowa in recently. Before you hand over your house to a tenant, carry out background check about them. Photo by Ismail Kezaala 


Johnmary Mukasa, a property agent, explains ways you can spot the right tenants to avoid the baggage that comes with having a bad one.

Hire property managers, agents
Mukasa says if you are a landlord, it can be hard to choose the perfect tenant, that is why you have to hire property managers who have experience to spot the perfect tenant.

“A property manager can tell who is capable of paying rent on time, who is window shopping and the one who is not capable of staying in house for more than five months,” he says.

Mukasa explains that property managers can detect this through the conversations they hold with potential tenants and their experience dealing with potential tenants a daily basis.

He, however, notes: “Even first time agents can find it hard to choose the right tenant and what you have to do is to seek advice from your fellow agents who have experience in that field.”

Background research
Moses Segawa, a property manager, says to choose the right tenant, you have to do research about their criminal records. You could, for instance, go check with the police station at their current area of residence to find out if they have a criminal record.
“Criminals have a tendency of moving from one area to another because they are running away from the authorities,” he says.

Segawa adds that besides criminal records, research can also help you get other important information about the prospective tenant’s background, for instance, some tenants are difficult to deal with and are a bother to both the ladlord and fellow tenants, and others are perennial defaulters.

“At least get time and talk to the neighbours where that person was living at least to know why he left the place. You may find that he or she is a rent defaulter.

“Such people tend to occupy houses and after three months they become problematic, and do not pay rent,” he adds.
Use legal advice
Segawa advises that you can use legal advice to choose the right tenant because in case anything backfires, you have backup.
You can get a legal officer to draft rules and regulations governing your houses.

“Tenants will have a right to accept the rules or not without resistance and this also helps to select certain class of tenant who are capable of paying rent on time,” he says.
Also, you have to aim at a tenant who is financially stable so that you are sure they can afford to pay rent and utility bills. “Ask the client the kind of job they are doing to know whether they are able to afford your house or not,” he advises.

Family members
Ismail Mulindwa, a property agent, says as a landlord, you have to ask the number of family members the tenant has. One should have a maximum number of people to stay in your house to avoid congestion.

“Some tenants sublet houses without you noticing and you realise it after sometime when the house is over congested. Two people can ask for the house, but you end up with a bigger number occupying your premises,” she says.

Why landlords end up getting bad tenants
When you rush into something, you may end up making mistakes and landlords usually get wrong tenants because they rush into the business without doing any research.
Using fake agents
Using fake property agents also leads to wrong tenants who cannot pay rent on time. Such tenants can start dodging you after their initial deposit expires.
First time landlords
If you are a first time landlord, you may end up getting fake tenants because you have no idea about the business, make sure you ask your colleagues who have been in the business for some time.