Renting a property can be an overwhelming, time consuming process.
Some regions, such as the Sunshine Coast, are often in high demand, which can make competition fierce. An agency can have as many as 30 applicants interested in a property, and on occasion even more!
Or it may be your first time applying for a rental property, and you are unsure of the process.
Follow the steps below to put your best foot forward!
7 Steps to Ensuring the Best Chance of Getting Approved for a Rental Property
1. GET YOUR SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION READY
Prepare digital copies of Photo ID, Rent Receipts or a Rent Ledger, Payslips, or other proof of income. PDF is best but a high resolution photo / JPG will do if you don’t have access to a scanner.
Let your personal and professional referees know that you’re looking for a property, and ask that they get back to any requests for references as soon as they can.
If you are submitting a pet application with your personal application, take a photo of your pet.
If you have any reason to believe you are listed on a tenancy database for a previous breach of tenancy agreement, contact your previous agency and try and resolve the matter and have your name removed from the database.
2. REGISTER TO RECEIVE NEW LISTING ALERTS
Keep an eye on your notifications for new listing alerts, and if you are interested in a property, do everything you can to attend the first open for inspection appointment.
Register with any agencies in the area you are wanting to rent, as well as Realestate.com.au and Domain.com.au, to receive alerts matching your property criteria.
Just searching the online listings can be frustrating, as some may already be under application, and many rental properties are leased after the first open.
3. REGISTER TO ATTEND THE OPEN FOR INSPECTION
Many agencies (including ours) use the “Book Inspection” button via the listing page on both our own website, and on Realestate.com.au
If you can’t register to inspect online, call the agency and let them know you will be attending, and that you’re very interested in the property. That way if the inspection time changes, or it is cancelled for some reason, you’ll be kept updated.
If you can’t attend for some reason, try and organise someone to view the property on your behalf.
If neither of these are an option, some agencies (including ours) will permit you to sign a “Sight Unseen” waiver, in special circumstances. Call the the agency to see if the owner would consider this.
4. COMPLETE YOUR APPLICATION
Agencies do not enjoy having to chase up missing information. An incomplete application will hold up processing, and may mean you miss out altogether.
Complete all sections of the application, such as full contact details for any references, and current/previous addresses, even if you weren’t paying rent at these properties.
Make sure you are completely honest and accurate with any information you provide. If there is a blemish on your rental history, explain why in the application.
The affordability threshold used by the RTA is that the rent should be 30% or less than the combined income of all applying tenants. If you don’t meet the affordability threshold, consider having someone act as a guarantor, by becoming a “Non-Residing Tenant”. This person will need to complete an application and provide the same supporting documentation as you do.
5. ATTEND THE OPEN FOR INSPECTION AND MAKE A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION
How you present yourself can reflect how you care for your home, and what you would be like to deal with as a tenant.
Having your application completed in advanced communicates that you are organised, and that you are very interested in the property.
Drive past the property ahead of the inspection to be sure you know how to find it. Arrive to the inspection with plenty of time to find a park and walk to the property.
Dress suitably (don’t come straight from the beach in a towel, for example!).
Take the time to talk to the letting agent so they will remember you when processing your application.
6. SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION IMMEDIATELY
Applications often get processed and forwarded to the owner in the order they are received, so if you want to be at the top of the list, your application needs to be at the top of the pile.
Ideally, hand your completed application to the letting officer or property manager who is conducting the open for inspection.
Alternatively, go to the agency’s office after the inspection and complete the application there and then.
If neither of these are possible, apply online immediately following the inspection.
7. DON’T PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET
Agencies often receive multiple applications for properties. Only one application will be approved.
Keep inspecting and applying, until you have been approved and paid the bond.