Bad tenants are the stuff of nightmares for a landlord trying to self-manage an investment property. Forever in arrears or refusing to pay rent altogether, damaging your property, and disturbing the neighbours.

Once a bad tenant has the keys to your property, you'll probably have to take a financial hit in order to oust them. Although a landlord is within their rights to evict a tenant who's in breach of contract, the proper process takes time. A tenant with malice on their mind may use that time to fall even further behind in rent. Evicting a tenant without going through the appropriate channels isn't an option either - it can result in fines of up to $20,000.

Thoroughly screening applicants before signing a tenancy agreement it the most important tool in the landlord's arsenal. The following screening tips will help to ensure you don't haemorrhage both time and money on bad tenants:

  • If you choose to use an Agent, then industry lists like the National Tenancy Database (ntd) will flag tenants with a history of breaching rental agreements. Agents can become members of ntd and access their databases, with appropriate consent, to assess prospective tenants.

  • If you choose to manage the tenancy yourself you can have access to important information to help you assess an applicant's suitability by using

  • Consider whether or not information such as a prospective tenant's inability to recall their employer's telephone number or the fact they have a checkered employment history make them good prospective tenant.

General Disclaimer

The information contained in website is general information only and does not constitute legal, financial or compliance advice. As the laws relating to tenancy agreements may have changed we recommend you check with the relevant State or Territory government department. We also recommend that you obtain your own independent legal advice about matters relating to landlord obligations, tenant rights and any legal disputes you may have with a tenant(s).