Whether you’re a newbie landlord or already have some experience running a couple of co-living units, managing your tenants is an important part of your role.
Tenants living in co-living units can come from different backgrounds, cultures, habits and upbringing. It’s important that they are able to live amicably together under the same roof. Here are some tips on how to screen and manage your tenants effectively.
Tips on screening your tenants
1. First impressions count during the viewing
Your chance to assess your prospective tenant comes during the physical viewing process. Tenants who are punctual, dress well, polite and well-mannered make a better impression. If the prospective tenant is rude or has an abrasive personality, this could be a sign that he or she may not be able to get along well with other tenants living in the co-living unit.
2. Check out their social media
Another way of screening your prospective tenants is to check their social media such as LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook (if they have set them to public). Red flags to watch out for are images of messy or dirty homes, unhygienic living habits, or photos of them into heavy drinking or smoking at home. These are the tenants you may want to avoid as they may not maintain the cleanliness of your co-living unit.
3. Check out their validity of work permit and background
Ensure that the work permit is valid and that they have the right to work and live in Singapore. Ideally, their monthly income should be at least 3 times the amount of monthly rental as this means that they have sufficient funds to pay for rental. Their designation or nature of job and the company they are working for would give you an idea of whether they are suitable tenants.
Tips on onboarding your tenants
4. Ensure that your tenancy agreement sets out the house rules
Once your tenant has agreed to rent a room in your co-living unit, the next step is to explain all the house rules to him or her. Ensure that your tenancy agreement spells out all the house rules clearly. These are the basic guidelines that each tenant is expected to adhere to when they live in your unit. It may include pointers such as cleaning up the kitchen after they have cooked and throwing the rubbish daily. Your tenant must sign off and acknowledge these house rules in the tenancy agreement.
Tips on ongoing tenant management
5. Place reminders strategically
Your tenant needs to live harmoniously with other flatmates living in the same unit. All tenants should respect each other and play their part in maintaining cleanliness in the unit. To help, you can place posters and reminders on the house rules in strategic locations in your co-living unit such as in the bathroom or kitchen.
6. Place QR codes
To facilitate an easy stay for your tenant, you can also place QR codes on electronic appliances such as the washing machine and dryer. Once the tenant scans the QR code, they can access the linked videos demonstrating how to use those appliances. This is a convenient way of showing them how to operate the appliance.
7. Maintain constant communication through a tenant management app
A tenant management app is useful to push out notifications to your tenants and to include all the details on the tenancy agreement and house rules. Your tenants can also use this to communicate with you and raise tickets for any maintenance issues which need attention. Through this, you can maintain open and transparent communication with your tenants.