These days, finding a new rental property can seem like an extreme sport!
Housing affordability issues mean many of us are renting for longer, driving up competition for the good rental properties that are available.
So, when you find the perfect property in your dream location, how can you make sure your application stands out from the crowd and improve your chances of securing those coveted keys?
Here are some tried and tested tips that actually work:
- Download the application form before the open home. On the day of the inspection, have it pre-filled, ready to submit or hand in to the agent. These days, many property managers use online systems that can save your details, enabling you to apply for multiple properties more easily.
- Have all your documentation ready to go. These may include photocopied and certified photo identification, pay slips, old tax notices, work references or summaries from Centrelink – whatever the particular agency requires. Some may want hard copies, while others will prefer you to scan and upload, both of which can be time consuming. Having all this on hand saves time and stress, and will ensure your application is submitted swiftly – especially important if there are other applicants.
- Add a personal touch. A written reference from your boss, or even better, a previous landlord looks great in your application and may propel you to the top of your prospective new landlords’ list. You could also add a cover letter detailing why you love the property and why you’d make a fabulous tenant. Think about what you’d like to read if you were the landlord – they’re looking for long-term tenants who will take care of the property, pay their rent on time and keep the lines of communication open and honest, so use the cover letter to sell yourself on these key points.
- Try to sneak a peek at the property before the official inspection time. Give the agent a call and emphasise that you’re really keen to view the property, and potentially apply, as soon as possible. Properties are often leased before the advertised inspection and many agents prefer this, especially if the property is currently vacant and costing the landlord money.
- Make a point of introducing yourself to the agent… Rather than shuffling past and giving them a nod like all the other prospective tenants. Tell them your name, and ask a handful of carefully considered questions about the property. Hopefully this will help them to remember you when it comes time to sift through all the applications, and being able to put a face to a name may boost your chances of being approved.
- Call the agent to follow up. Don’t wait around for a call or email from them, as it’s likely to be a “thanks but no thanks”. Instead, give them a call a day or two after the open home, to check the progress of your application and see if they need any additional information from you. If nothing else, it may force them to pull your forms out of the pile to check the details, meaning you’ll end up on top when they finally started processing them.
- Offer extra cash. If all else fails and the property is particularly popular with several applicants, your best chance of success may be to offer to pay higher rent. It could be as little as $10 per week, but it just might tip the scales in your favour. It shows the landlord you’re good with money and are super-keen on the property, which gives the impression that you’ll take good care of it and live there for longer, saving them re-advertising and re-letting costs.