Have you rented a property before? Then definitely you have lots of stories about the potential tenant you’ve met and spoke to. Some of these meetings were definitely enriching – meaning, you learned, who you definitely DON’T want in your unit. Maybe you kicked them out. Maybe you just finished the meeting normally, but later told the story many times to your friends.
So, what to do to stop wasting time and avoid renting the property to a potential diseaster-tenants in Malaysia?
The most important: don’t just WhatsApp. Meet in person, at least once. Or, rely on your trusted partner, like HostelHunting.com, to do the viewing and check the tenant for you.
If you’re doing this personally though, these are the questions you MUST ask:
1. Are you capable of paying the deposit and the first month’s rent now?
This is the key question. Actually with this, you can potentially weed out 80% of the troublesome people. Remember, if the person says they don’t have so much money with them at that time, they ask for splitting the payment into rates or say they will pay later – that’s it.
Don’t try to discuss or negotiate. The deposit ALWAYS has to be paid in full. What if the tenant moved in, stayed for a month, damaged something in the property and just left? All it takes is 1 crazy party. And in this case, if the tenant haven’t paid the deposit, there’s nothing protecting you! Sounds scary? Well, it seriously is!
2. When can you move?
Second on your list. If the tenant doesn’t even know when he/she needs to move, don’t waste your time. They’re just checking units and are not actually planning to rent for now. Cut the meeting short and go home (or, if HostelHunting.com representative is doing this for you, just relax! No stress for you lah).
3. Do you mind if I call your previous landlord?
References are always better than any interview. You can ask in a polite way “So, why did you decide to move out? Oh, I see, the landlord increased the rent… Well, don’t worry, my unit will be keeping stable rent for at least 2 years. No worries. By the way, I was thinking to buy a unit in your previous place, do you mind passing me your landlord’s number? I’d like to find out more about doing business there.”
You don’t have to make the tenant feel like you’re stalking him. That’s creepy. Don’t do that. But asking casually for a contact to the previous landlord, if done tactfully, is definitely ok.
4. Who are you going to live with?
Sharing a studio with a friend is totally normal, with the current rising cost of living in Malaysia. But 4 people staying together in a tiny unit? As an Italian Godfather would say “Fugett About It!” 🙂
5. Are you planning to sublet?
Discuss this clearly. The safest option always is a strict “No subletting” policy. No subletting = no drama = easier life for the owner (you!).