How to Put Your Best Foot Forward and Secure a Rental Property
The tight rental market in Australia is showing no signs of slowing down in 2012. As median rents continue to climb, competition inevitably grows, increasing the need for renters to stay in the know and maximise your chances of securing a rental property.
There are a number of documents which are usually required to accompany your rental application. Prior to commencing your search for a rental property you should collate these relevant documents in preparation for when you need to submit an application. This will further improve your chances of securing the property and ensure you are fully prepared to attend inspections.
- Reference letters – any reference letters you may have had from past landlords and employers. This will establish your employment and rental history and may assure the landlord that you are genuine and trustworthy.
- Pay slips – proof of employment, your previous pay slips and bank statements will demonstrate you are financially able to rent the property.
- Pet references – if you have a pet, it is advised to include a pet reference from your past or current landlord; stating the condition of the property upon vacation and disturbance level from your pet whilst you were living there.
- Photo identification – this, in the form of a driver’s licence or even a passport, confirms you are who you say you are.
- Deposit / rental ledger – this document provides a summary of your payment history for a previous rental property. Created by your previous agent, this document is highly regarded and therefore should be on the top of your priority list.
- Cover letter – you may even wish to include a cover letter with your application form, reinforcing the reasons why your application should be considered by the agency / landlord. This extra effort will demonstrate a type of professionalism which will surely stand out from the crowd.
Scheduling & Attending Inspections
Scheduling an Inspection
Once you have found a property of interest, the first step is to contact a real estate agent and organise an inspection as soon as you possibly can. If they are proving to be difficult to contact, be persistent and keep trying until you succeed.
Ensure all applicants / housemates have also collated the above documentation. If you are the only one who comes prepared to the inspection, this will slow down your application submission and may result in missing out on securing the property.
As the rental market is extremely competitive, request an application form in order to fill it in beforehand and submit it on the day of the inspection. Alternatively, be prepared with all the required information to fill it in on the spot, in the case you are interested in applying. Ensure your application form is thorough, fully completed and neat.
Attending the Inspection
When attending inspections, be sure to make a good first impression. Introduce yourself and be polite, friendly and enthusiastic. This, along with your neat, tidy and presentable appearance, will help you stand out and be remembered when agents / landlords are looking through all the applications.
When you are viewing the property, treat it and its belongings with respect. By doing this, the real estate agent will get a preview of how you may act if you lived there. Likewise, if you show your enthusiasm and state why you like the place, it may showcase what kind of tenant you might be; eager and likely to sign a long lease.
If you are happy with the property and your application is ready for submission, it is important to be prepared to pay the first month’s rent and a bond should you be successful.
Ensure you follow up with the agent a few days after you have attended the inspection. This will showcase your interest and dedication to the property, as well as guarantee that the agent knows your name, hence becoming more familiar with you and your application.