Tips to protect yourself from bad tenants

Brent Palmer
Brent Palmer
Published on October 30, 2018

Rental property can be a great investment, with the right tenants. Choose the wrong tenants however and it can quickly become a nightmare. Untidy lawns and gardens, broken windows, holes in walls, unpaid rent, tenants that do a runner …….. and the list goes on. Below are some tips to help you make the most out of your rental property.

Property manager

While some people choose to go it on their own and look after their rental property themselves, we would recommend a property manager. They know all the ins and the outs of the business and will take care of everything that needs to be done. Yes, it will cost you more but it is so worth it for peace of mind.

All the details are taken care of and you are free to get on with it and collect your rent. They will advertise your rental property for you on a variety of online platforms and in print if needed. They will also screen potential tenants, take care of the bond and paperwork along with 3 monthly inspections. They all vary in price and exactly what’s on offer. Some even guarantee your income. They will chase the rent if it’s not paid and pay you directly which is great. You might have a figure in your head of what you would like the weekly rent to be. Chat with them about it and they can suggest something to fit the market after seeing your property.

Meet with a couple of company’s to get a feel for them. I would advise that you actually go into their office and meet with them face to face rather than a phone call. They can go over whats involved, costs, and what they can offer you. Bring in pictures and details of your property, they will more than likely want to go and have a look for themselves in person if they are hired.

Screen your potential tenants

If you do decide to be your own property manager for your rental property, one of the most important things to do is to thoroughly screen your tenants. Meet with them in person and make sure you get references. Don’t take them at face value. Call to check and make sure they are as good as the reference says. Have a list of pre-prepared questions to ask.

There is a great website that you can enter a potential tenants name into and it will tell you if there is any tenancy tribunal data on them or if there have been any issues with them in the past. But be mindful that this is only if the tenant has been taken to tribunal. There are other issues that may arise and not make it as far as this such as always having late payments and need constant reminders about the property cleanliness etc.

You can also use a property manager to do your inspections for you while you take care of everything else. Or even the screening process and then pass it on to you. It doesn’t have to be a full service, but might help take care of a couple of the big things for you.


A very important aspect of owning a rental property, you wouldn’t consider to not insure your own house.

This type of insurance is a little bit different to your regular home insurance and there are many company’s offering this service. They cover things such as damage to the property, damage over a period of time (such as leaks that don’t show themselves for a while or years) and meth contamination. They can also insure your rental income, fantastic!! To get you started have a look at the details on this insurance website.


Of course you have done the sensible thing and have insured your property. Most insurance companies will have a stipulation that rental inspections need to be carried out every three months. There are many rules around inspections, to protect you and your tenant. They are required to have 48 hours notice that inspection is going to take place and the same again for re-inspections. These might be needed when something has been asked to happen, such as cleaning a certain area or fixing something.

You want to have a good relationship with these people, so make some allowances with time and date for the inspection to be carried out. Not in the middle of a birthday or when someone is not well, both parties need to be flexible here. Some tenants love it and some loath it. If general maintenance needs attention this is a great time to pick it up and get straight onto it. On the other hand, if the tenant has not taken great care of the property then they will more than likely not want anyone coming around.

Inspections are generally looking at how the property is being treated, what needs attention and what may need attention in the future. It might be something as simple as condensation not being wiped away from the windows or window sills and the bathroom not being aired out, lawns are not being mowed often enough, the gardens are untidy or there has been damage to a wall or appliance (oven). It’s a great time to check that the smoke alarms are all in working order too.

Hopefully this has given you some helpful advice and you are ready to be the best landlord you can be. If you’re looking at getting into the rental market, give me a call and we can look at what properties are currently for sale that might be suitable.

top real estate agent richmond nelson

Brent Palmer – Professional Real Estate Consultant

About the Author: The above article on Tips to protect yourself from bad tenants was written and provided by Brent Palmer, a local leader in the field of Richmond and Nelson Real Estate sales, marketing, advanced technology for home selling, and social media. You can contact Brent Palmer here, or at 027 544 9921.

He has helped many people buy and sell homes in the Nelson, Stoke and Richmond areas for years, and would love the opportunity to help you as well.

Thinking of selling your home? I have a real passion for helping people sell their homes in our Nelson and Tasman Region, as well as the marketing, social media & advanced technology for home selling that goes along with it. I’d love to have the opportunity to sit down with you discuss how we can work together to get you the best price.

I help people buy and sell real estate in the following Nelson and Tasman  towns  & neighbourhoods: Wakefield, Brightwater, Hope, Appleby, Redwood Valley, Mapua, Stoke, Tahunanui, Atawhai and of course, Richmond and Nelson City. Connect with Brent on Facebook and pretty much everywhere else.

Know someone who needs help with real estate? Be rewarded and REFER them here