Trying to secure a rental property can sometimes be an angst-ridden process. Here are a few tips for you to win a rental property application and put yourself well ahead of the dozens of others vying for the same dream rental property as you.
Register for Open Inspections for Rental Properties
Many rental applications are done digitally these days, so get yourself on board with any technology offered by the agent quickly, shortlist the properties you want to see and register for inspections. If there is no registration process, call the agent and introduce yourself.
Well Dressed First Impressions
Making yourself memorable in person is a good tactic. Dress appropriately as you would if you were attending a meeting which means no tracksuit pants. It’s not a job interview but showing that you’re a functioning human being who gets up and dressed in the mornings is a good start.
Introduce yourself to the agent and be sure to make eye contact and smile. Highlighting what you do for a job can also help them remember you as they go through the applications they receive.
Ask Intelligent Questions
Try to ask a few intelligent and interesting questions about the property too, such as what kind of neighbours live there and how long the landlord has owned the property for. Read the listing advertisement and don’t ask questions that are answered in the rental property listing – this just shows you didn’t really pay attention.
Update Your Online & Social Media Profile
Another tip that has become more relevant in recent times is to update your online profile pages such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. Agents, just like employers, do look at them from time to time so if yours is questionable, change your privacy settings before you apply, so only your friends can see your ‘true’ personality.
Tick all the Rental Application Boxes
The less work the agent has to do, the more they will like you. This means answering all the questions as asked, filling out all the sections required in the rental property application and providing the necessary documentation.
Rental Expense Eligibility
A landlord wants a good tenant but they also want someone who is financially stable. First and foremost, make sure you’re applying for something you can afford. In theory, your rent shouldn’t be more than about 30 – 40% of your income, so work out a budget and use that as your frame of reference when looking. In addition, let the agent know you are willing to put down 6 weeks bond to help win the rental property application.
1 Year Extension Option for Rental Lease
To convince them of your longer-term prospects, it might be useful to ask for a 1-year extension on the rental lease. If you are self-employed, you may consider including the last few BAS statements to gives them a sense of how solid and consistent your income is. If you’re employed then pay slips and bank statements, or maybe something that proves your duration of employment should do the trick.
Keep in mind that bank statements will also include evidence of direct debits which will work in your favour. Highlighting your regular gym membership or car payments shows you have decent cash flow and an established history of committing to payments.
Rental Application Cover Letter
It’s not commonly done but some people like to include a cover letter with their application to give some background on who they are and why you would be a good tenant. This can be useful if you have recently returned from living overseas, have been self-employed for a while, or are recently separated or divorced for example. The cover letter should not make excuses but give a brief overview of your situation, given its less than conventional nature.
Rental Application References
All rental property applications will ask you for referees and its surprising how many people don’t do this well. It’s much better to provide two easily contactable, solid referees than 5 or more who give no useful information, (if they can be reached at all). Avoid using relatives or friends where possible and try to stick to people who’ve known you in a professional capacity and will give an honest account of your reliability. It often helps to ask your referees first too and brief them on specific information they could talk about.
Winning the Rental Application Process
It’s common to feel impatient and anxious when working out how to secure a rental property and sometimes you may have more than one application being processed. It’s perfectly reasonable to call after a few days and check on the progress of your application. Mention that you have others in place and any information would be useful.
By legislation, agents are not required to give a reason as to why a rental application may have been declined but don’t hesitate to ask if there is any way you might have made your application stronger. An agent will often give you tips and may even ask if they can keep your application on file in case something similar comes up.