Want to rent an apartment? It can be trickier than you think. With people queuing up to view possible new homes across Australia, the housing market is more competitive than ever. When an agent is looking at your application alongside dozens of others, standing out is essential. From references to financial arrangements, there are a lot of factors to consider when making a rental application. That’s why we put together a guide to nailing your application and finding your new home sooner rather than later.
Sort your documents
Most real estate agents and property managers will include a list of the documents they need to receive with your rental application with an ad for a new property. This list typically includes references, an application form, proof of employment or student status, a cover letter, and a photo ID. Make sure you have all these typical documents ready when you start looking for a new place to rent, so you can quickly apply to properties that catch your eye. Make sure you have copies of important documents, so you don’t run the risk of losing the originals. It’s generally a good idea to stick to the list of required documents requested by the agent. That way they don’t spend their time looking through your application and wondering where the crucial information is.
You have a much better chance of snapping up a great property if you approach the search for a new home with lots of energy. Landlords and agents will appreciate you taking the initiative to call them and inquire about their offers instead of just sending over a completed application form. Plus, calling can help you find short-notice slots for house inspections that you may have missed if your rental application was sitting in a long queue of emails.
Being proactive extends to helping your housemates. Has someone not sent over their references yet? Make sure your whole team has all the documents they need so you can send applications without waiting.
Making your applications online saves hassle for you and the real estate agents. Filling out application forms and documents online removes the need to wait for the post and the trouble of printing, scanning, and posting your applications. Plus, online applications are much easier to replicate and resend to properties that have just appeared on the market. We prefer using online platforms to find and apply for properties, as it allows you to browse a wider range of properties and get started with your applications faster.
Nail the inspection
Inspecting the property is a great time to explore a new residence and consider whether it would work for you and your housemates. It’s also a fantastic time to make a good impression on the landlord. Make sure to arrive punctually, showing the organization and good manners that landlords and agents will look for in new tenants. Smart clothes subtly communicate these qualities, although you don’t need to worry about showing up in a three-piece dinner jacket. Just show that you’re taking the inspection seriously. When asking questions about changes to rental agreements, such as rent adjustment, don’t forget to be reasonable in what you ask. If you’re up against other offers, excessive demands create an easy excuse for landlords to opt for other people.
Show your whole rental history
Make sure to attach all relevant references from past landlords and employers. They demonstrate that you’re trustworthy and reliable, which helps landlords when they’re thinking about which applicants to choose as their new tenants. If you can, attaching a rental ledger is a great addition, as it will prove that you pay rent promptly, one of the landlords’ biggest concerns. If you have previously encountered problems as a tenant, for example, if you have needed to go into arrears, it’s much better to be honest and upfront about it. Future landlords will be much less concerned about a situation you have explained than one they find out about when checking your rental application against databases and through their agents.
Showing your enthusiasm and eagerness to be chosen for a new property is key to standing out among other applicants. Landlords and agents are looking for people who will genuinely enjoy living in their properties. One good way to demonstrate your enthusiasm is to follow up and make contact straight after an inspection. Another good way to demonstrate enthusiasm is to tailor your cover letter to the specific property. Instead of sending out a generic letter, show what you like about this specific property. Hopefully, that will help tip the balance in your favor and get you the keys to a great new home.