How to Find Tenants for a Rental Property

How to Find Tenants for a Rental Property

Are you looking for information on how to find tenants for a rental property. Perhaps you have a house, apartment, farm or business that you would wish to to rent out. It’s something that millions of people in South Africa have been doing. Renting out your property allows you to earn a steady income. However, it’s not always easy to find tenants for your property. In this post, we will guide you as you seek to find the right person to rent your property.

How to find the right tenant

It’s not enough to simply find a tenant for your rental property. You need to make sure that you have found the right tenant. Otherwise you are going to be in a lot of trouble. If you have ever encountered the tenant from hell, you will know what we are talking about here.

There are plenty of people out there actively looking for information on how to evict somebody from their property. It’s very easy to get someone to become a tenant. However, the situation becomes challenging when that person does not quite meet your requirements. Anyway, the following are some of the tools that you can use to find tenants for your rental property;

Use a property listing website

We will stick close to home on this one; one good way through which you can find tenants for your rental property is through the use of property listing websites. There are a lot of those in South Africa, including Affordable Properties.

Please note that many of the property listing websites that are out there are paid. What it means is that you will need to pay something to be able to advertise your home on the platform.

The good news is that there are several free property listing websites in South Africa. Affordable Properties is one of them. With us, you don’t have to pay anything to advertise your property.

Popular online advertising options

Yes, you do need to pay to have your property appear on our featured list, but that’s as far as it goes. General listings can be done free of charge. The following are some of the most popular property listing websites that can be found out there;

  • Property 24 (Paid)
  • Affordable Properties (Free)
  • Private Property (Paid)
  • Gumtree
  • SA Properties

Delete your listing when you have found tenants

For some people, it can be a bit difficult to manage online listings. And yes, you do not to manage them. It’s not a set and forget situation. You are likely to receive tens if not hundreds of offers while your listing is live.

These offers will continue even when you have found the right tenant. So, it’s important to sift through all the offers that you have gotten, pick a person that you think would be best for your property.

Once there is no longer a vacancy, go back to the listing and delete it. That way, you won’t continue to be inundated with offers.

Word of mouth

Most people discount the power of word-of-mouth when it comes to advertising. However, it’s actually one of the biggest drivers of business around the world. In the property market in south Africa, word of mouth can be a useful tool that you can use to find tenants for your rental property.

Let’s assume that you have a newly build property that’s up for rental. You can mention the fact to friends, family, colleagues and others. These days, word of mouth can be given a boost via social media. Post your property on Facebook and WhatsApp family groups.

This is a good way of ensuring that you get the right tenant for your property. We understand that many people are reticent about renting out their properties to relatives, but it can be a good way of finding a person who will take care of your property on your behalf.

And you don’t have to rent out to relatives themselves. Perhaps they know someone who knows someone and before your know it, you will have a reliable tenant in your home or other property. In any event, word of mouth should be one of your biggest tools as you seek to fill up your property with tenants.

Advertisements in newspapers

This is another option for those looking to find tenants for their rental properties. Placing advertisements in newspapers is, more or less, similar to placing advertisements on listing websites.

You can place your ad in a newspaper that you know is read by the people that you are targeting to become tenants in your property. If you are in Cape Town, as an example, you may place your ad in the Cape Times or in the Cape Argus.

Newspapers still have a very wide reach, in spite of the fact that people are drifting towards social media for news. They remain a powerful tool for those looking to reach the right audience.

Use and Agent to find tenants for your rental property

This is another of the options that you have when it comes to getting tenants for your home. There are many agents in South Africa who will find the right tenant for your property for a few.

The important thing is to ensure that the one that you engage is reputable. You should pick one that goes through the trouble of properly vetting potential tenants for your home, farm or business.

Screening your potential tenants

The above methods allow you come up with a large pool of potential tenants for your building. So, how do you whittle down the selection to a single person? There are many steps that you need to go through to avoid landing the tenant from hell. The following are the steps that you can take to pick the right tenant for your property;

  • Get referrals from previous landlords
  • Conduct an interview with the tenant. Talking to someone face to face tends to be a good way of learning about them as an individual. If any red flags are raised, you should immediately resume your search.
  • Get as much information as you can from them during the interview.
  • Go online and learn about them on social media. Our social media platforms usually reflect who we are. If the potential tenant’s lifestyle and habits are not to your liking, then you should not rent out your property to them. Perhaps you are churchgoing and you do not interact with people who drink. You can learn about your potential tenant on their Facebook.
  • Check the potential tenant’s credit score. Think of yourself as a business, and businesses check credit scores before giving people something on credit. Your property is an even bigger investment, so you need to protect yourself by ensuring that the tenant that you find is able to pay their rentals.
  • Get the potential tenant’s confirmation of employment. This further ensures that they will be able to make their monthly rent payments.


That’s how to find tenants for your rental property. As you can see, it can be a pretty involved process. Some of the steps that are outlined when it comes to vetting potential tenants may seem to be invasive and unnecessary.

However, we have already noted that your property is your business. That’s something that a lot of people fail to appreciate.

Treat it like any business. With due diligence, you will be able to find the right tenant for your home, apartment, farm or any other rental property.

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