Are you in the process of searching for a rental property ? If so, you will know how competitive the market is. With so many potential tenants vying for limited vacancies, standing out from the crowd and securing the property you want takes time and effort. At times like this, the quality of your rental property application is paramount.
We always get asked what people can do to make their application stand out to the real estate agent or landlord so that their application is more attractive.
Allow us to share our expertise around best practices for submitting rental applications that impress landlords and property managers. From showcasing your financial stability to being 100% prepared and proving you are the perfect tenant, here is what you need to do.
6 Tips for rental property application success
Show them the money
Depending on demand, offer a higher amount than the rent asked. If an application comes through for a property that has a higher rental offer of $10-$20 per week more than what the landlord is asking it will be an instant way to get your application to the top of the pile.
When you are up against 4-5 other applications having a rental offer above asking is a good way to stand out from the crowd, the other option is to offer to pay a few months in advance. This can be tricky though as you will need to pay bond and one months’ rent in advance already so don’t over commit to this if it will put you under financial pressure.
Having a consistent job with an income that can comfortably meet the rent payments, high quality rental references from previous landlord and a solid bank balance all come into account so ensure that these areas are in order.
Decide on what you need first
Do you need a house or a flat? One bedroom or three? What is your budget? Location is important. If you don’t have a car research how you will access public transport and the distance to local amenities and schools. Will the layout of the housework for your family? Is the master bedroom downstairs and the kid’s rooms upstairs? Are you bring pets to your rental property? If so, is it suitable and are they allowed? Think through how you would place your furniture and take a tape measure for the fridge space! That’s the most common mistake people make and end up having to buy a new fridge because their one doesn’t fit in the space.
If you are serious about getting a place look for something slightly under your budget, not at the top end and as mentioned above this will give you room to offer a slightly higher rent and increase your chances of securing it.
That sounds simple enough, but you would be surprised how many people come to an open for inspection and apply for the property a few days later when going for a rental property the turnover time from inspection to approval is typically about 24-48 hours.
We receive applications as soon as we have done the inspection. If you have found the property you like, make sure you have everything the application requires including access to the funds to pay the deposit. People often have their deposit in a high interest-bearing account however sometimes it takes a day or so to access these funds and a real estate agency would need them immediately.
Most agencies have an online application form now so you can upload all the required documents. The more information you include the better! It saves the agent time calling and asking you to send more through, sometimes having not enough on your application will instantly make an agent move onto the next application.
Know your rights and duties
Did you know you have a legal obligation, as a tenant, to have viewed the property before signing a lease? The Residential Tenancies Act covers Victorian rental properties and Consumer Affairs Victoria have published a booklet called ‘Renting – Your Rights and Responsibilities’. You should receive a copy of this booklet from your Landlord or Agent when you sign the lease agreement. Do you know when you are expected to pay your rent? Are you required to maintain the garden? Make sure you know these things before applying and if you don’t as the questions at the inspection.
When you find the house you like and want to submit an application, you’ll need to supply references. It helps to have all their details on hand, and to have sought their approval before providing their details. Referees and references from previous Landlords, employers and bank statements are usually the most commonly asked for.
If you haven’t rented before but have owned a home a good idea is to print off or email details of your previous home and mortgage. As mentioned above the more information you can provide the better. Make sure those people you have put down as a reference are expecting a call, sometimes the references won’t disclose any information as they haven’t been made aware to expect a call. This can cause delays sometimes even days when the references are hard to contact.
Understand the rental process
Once you have been approved for a rental property you will be required to pay rent one month in advance and a bond which is normally the equivalent to one-months rental (sometimes this amount can be higher if the weekly rental is more than $350 per week) the bond is held with the Residential Tenancy Bond Authority and will be refunded at the end of the tenancy if the Lease conditions are met.
You will be required to sign a Residential Tenancy Agreement usually for a period of 12 months, however, this can vary.
Conclusion: Tips for rental property application success
Securing a rental property can be a competitive and daunting process, but with proper preparation and a positive, organised approach, you can increase your chances of success.
By following the tips and strategies outlined in this article, you can showcase your strengths and increase your appeal as a tenant.
Remember, every rental property is unique, so tailor your application to the specific property and landlord you’re dealing with.
With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to rental application success and securing the rental property of your dreams.