First-time Renters: Don’t Hand Over The Keys Until The Lease is Signed! 7 Tips For Landlords

Renting out your first property should be something to celebrate. However, there are a lot of things to keep in mind when renting. If you lack the knowledge and experience, you might encounter a freeloader! You’ll be going to court every day to recover your money. Landlords remember to pay attention to the following tips so your first tenant is a smooth experience.

Pay Attention to These Tips

1. Proof of Income and Occupation is Very Important

Make sure you have evidence. As the saying goes, do not judge a book by its cover. Even if they’re well-dressed and groomed, landlords should always ask for proof of income to ensure the tenant can afford to pay the monthly rent. If you are renting through a real estate agent, they will take the initiative to ask the tenant to show proof of income before the contract is officially signed.


Some landlords will ask for credit history in case the tenant fails to pay rent due to debt. However, this technique may not work because it takes time to obtain a credit report rating and involves a lot of privacy. As a rule, even tenants with good records are reluctant to apply. Therefore, only rare and superb offers will be presented by tenants.

2. Past Rent Payment Records

A stable job and income do not mean the tenant will pay rent on time. Another thing to keep in mind is that landlords can ask tenants for rent payment records to prevent bullying. It is important to note that it is not a common procedure to ask for rent payment records and tenants may refuse to produce them. We recommend that landlords refer to the tenant’s occupation and income before deciding whether or not to ask for rent payment records.


3. Beware of Company Name Rentals

Owners should be careful of tenants renting in the name of a “limited company”. The cost of registering a company in Hong Kong is not high and there are many shell companies. Once the other party defaults on rent for a long period of time and goes into liquidation, the landlord will not be able to claim from the personal property of the shareholder and will be left with no recourse. Signing a contract with a company does not mean it is safe and secure.


Pay Attention to These Tips

4. Test Through Casual Conversation

Real estate agents can tell the background and personality of a client through casual conversation to determine if the person is honest. You can seek the assistance of a reliable real estate agent to help you screen potential tenants!

If you are putting up the property by yourself, make sure to learn the skills needed! For example, you can ask about the tenant’s past residence, the reason for surrendering the lease, how long he/she has worked in the company, his/her interests, and preferences, etc. You can learn about the tenant’s past rental experience and attitude towards life from the conversation, and remember to pay attention to whether they’re lying or not.

5. Sign the Official Lease Before Handing Over the Keys

When to hand in the key is also one of the important points to note in renting. Landlords should remember that the contract will not be effective until the official lease is signed and stamped, and the landlord has the right to claim the loss of rent. Many tenants take advantage of this loophole because they have only signed a temporary lease. They will repeatedly put off signing a formal lease in order to avoid their legal responsibilities. Landlords should pay attention to the fact that only after signing the formal lease can they hand over the keys, otherwise they will be exploited.


6. Check the Blacklist

Many social media sites, such as Facebook, Telegram, etc., have been circulating a “blacklist of renters”. Owners can refer to it on the Internet. The information circulated on the Internet may be wrong, but landlords can still “have an idea” and include the blacklist in their renting guidelines to pay more attention to suspicious tenants.

7. Use a Reliable Platform

Nowadays, many people choose to place their properties on online platforms to save on brokerage commissions. But this way, no one can guarantee the quality of the tenant. One of the tips for renting is to choose a platform that has an identity verification process to reduce the risk of running into a freeloader.

One of the rent release tips is to choose a platform that has an identity verification program.

You should buy home insurance if your rental property has home appliances. If a tenant accidentally damages the home appliances, you will be properly compensated.