Finding the perfect tenant

Real Estate Re-Defined, startes with being transparent and providing insights into Property Management. In this blog we look at the law and how we at Silver Service Real Estate work to find the perfect tenant.

We often get asked Why, when a Landlord is the property owner do they not have Carte Blanche in choosing the Tenant for their property?

Though there are ethical considerations that apply to this topic, there is also extensive legislation which applies. The Anti-Discrimination Act 1991, which is a Federal Act is the most relevant. This Act requires that a person not be discriminated against and, the basis of discrimination can be due to race, culture, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, etc.

The Residential Tenancies Act 1997 outlines the rights & obligations of Landlords & Tenants for the State of Victoria. Limited allowance is provided for discrimination. This only pertains to the allowance of children when a premises is also a Landlord’s Primary Place of Residence and/or when a Tenant wishes to keep a pet on site.

Recent review of the RTA Act 97 is challenging a Landlord’s ongoing right to discriminate against pets though. This has & will continue to cause disruption & some consternation between Landlords & Tenants. Our role as Agent will be to continue to assist in navigating so that we remain on the right side of the law while continuing to protect your highly valuable investment.

Putting aside acts of law, I consider it imperative to share a comment made to me by a VCAT Member a few years ago. When a property is purchased for investment or is converted to a rental, it becomes a provision for housing.

With Melbourne’s population projected to exceed that of Sydney by 2025 and, with an increasing percentage of our population being excluded from property ownership, access to rental accommodation is becoming a critical issue for Melbourne.

To relieve some of the pressure, a Landlord and/or their Agent are obligated to extend that housing on to the public without prejudice and, consent may only be reasonably withheld under very specific circumstances.

Other than the aforementioned, a Landlord can reasonably withhold consent when a person’s Tenant Application is incomplete or their references are poor or insufficient. A Landlord may also decline an otherwise acceptable application should a prospective Tenant seek to negotiate the Contract terms e.g. should they offer a discounted rental or non-standard initial fixed lease period. When age is a factor, a person must be at least 18 years of age to be legally bound to a Lease Contract. They can be extended housing should a person over the age of 18 be their Guarantor but, this is an extremely rare occurrence.

Working with a qualified Estate Agent can greatly assist in determining whether a tenancy application should be reasonably accepted or not.

The important thing to remind yourself as a Landlord is that, when you accept a tenancy application, you are establishing a working relationship. Though you are making an informed decision, you are also doing so in good faith and, you are extending your goodwill. Unfortunately, nobody comes with a 100% guarantee. How you lead the relationship can, however, have a significant effect on the way that that tenancy evolves. That is why many Property Managers are now called ‘Relationship Managers’ and, why we at Silver Service work to humanise our practices & systems while going about the serious business of managing a multi-million dollar property portfolio.

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