With the property sales market experiencing a low ebb, many sellers are considering long-term rentals as an alternate solution for their property. Photo: Supplied

DURBAN - With the property sales market experiencing a low ebb, and the resultant increase in the length of time a property remains on the market, many sellers are considering long-term rentals as an alternate solution for their property. 

Principal of Seeff Zimbali, Andreas Wassenaar said, "This is no small achievement, considering how competitive the rental market is and how incredibly hard the rentals business can be. Having placed hundreds of tenants over the past 10 years, we are well versed in the key signs to look out for as a landlord when screening and considering accepting an offer to lease on your property". 

Here are six key things to consider and take note of when renting out your property according to Wassenaar: 

1. The first and most important aspect to understand and interrogate is the history and past behaviour of the prospective tenant. A Tenant Profile Network and PayProp Credit Profile Reports are excellent tools for a landlord to review prior to accepting a lease. Every professional estate agent will subscribe to this type of service and present the detailed reports together with the offer to lease. If the tenant has been renting previously then the input from that landlord is extremely valuable and a very good indicator of future expected behaviour. 

2. If a tenant proposes contracting in a family members' name or in the name of anybody or a legal entity other than the person or legal entity responsible for paying the rent, this is a major red flag and is often sufficient reason to put the brakes on the transaction. 

3. If the initial payments to be made by the tenant are made slowly or in parts, this is another big red flag, and indicates a lack of affordability and the inability to perform in the future.

4. Family structure of the proposed tenant is important. A tenant that is too young carries the inherent risk of not having the commitment to the lease term. Younger children can be harder on a property, as can younger adults such as university aged prospects. Look for tenants that are in a settled and stable place in their lives, who are house proud and seek to add value to their surroundings.

5. Employment structure is important, as self-employed entrepreneurs carry a higher risk profile than a corporate tenant such as Unilever looking to place an executive on contract for three years. 

6. Pets, and specifically the exact type and number of them, must be considered. With so many of our local gated estates having ever stricter pet policies, it is important to carefully examine what type of pets are being proposed.