First and foremost we cannot be property investors without tenants. For me the quality of a tenant is my first priority. As the presentation of a property declines over time so too does the qualifications of a tenant and from there we have a vicious cycle downwards.
For me a good tenant:
Pays on time.
Stays long term.
Keeps to conditions on lease.
Reports maintenance in a timely manner.
Is respectful of the owners property and agencies rights to manage.
The signs of a prospective tenant that could lead to a bad tenancy occur right from the start. The references may be below average, payments are late or inconsistent, or they may be unable to a pay a full bond. Sometimes they are looking for accommodation in a desperate state like now or need to find something today!
These signs will be further backed up by their personal presentation, use of language, car and general gut feeling. For me it’s never any benefit of solving one problem with another i.e. vacancy- with a problem tenant. Tenants don’t change their spots if they have been difficult before they will be difficult again. It will be your mental health, cash flow and property that suffers.