Winning Rental Application Tips
It’s hard to find the right rental property
When this article was written the vacancy rate for rental properties in Melbourne was just 2.3%. That’s pretty tight, and it means that for almost every property advertised for rent, there are at least several applicants. As a tenant, it’s hard work just to find the right place. So once you’ve found it, you need to do everything within your power to ensure you secure it. Here we outline a few tips to help you stand out from the crowd;
Have your paperwork in order
Most real estate agents will provide you with a list of documents that you need to present in order to apply for a rental property. In most instances you’ll need references, the completed application form, pet references if applicable, pay slips or proof of employment, photo ID and a cover letter.
Make multiple copies of all these things so you can quickly prepare an “application pack” for any likely properties. Property Managers are often time poor, so if you can demonstrate that you’re organised and make their lives easier you stand a better chance than those who don’t.
Many real estate agencies use online application processing tools such as 1Form. It makes their lives easier, and it will make yours easier too. Prepare everything you need to make an application, and then once you have it all ready to go you can now apply for as many properties as you like, all with one simple click.
Make sure all the adults you’ll be applying with are ready too
It’s great if you’re all prepared, but you don’t want that one housemate to ruin your chances because they’re not. Make sure that every adult who will be applying for the property have everything prepared. Property Managers often don’t have the time to go chasing up missing pieces of the puzzle, so they’ll be more likely to lease the property to another applicant if you’re not organised.
Don’t be late
Usually property managers hold short open homes, sometimes just 15 minutes. If you’re on time you’ll give yourself the best chance to really have a good look at the property you’ve chosen to inspect. More importantly you’re showing respect to the property manager (i.e. the person who will likely have a big influence over the landlord in assisting them to choose the right applicant). Being late means you may be denied entry, which almost certainly means your application will be denied. At the very least you run the risk of annoying the property manager.
Treat it like a job interview
It stands to reason that the property manager wants to recommend the very best tenants to their landlord/s, so they’ll be assessing you in their mind from the minute they meet you. If you treat the inspection like a job interview you’ll stand out from those who don’t. Make sure you’re well presented – you don’t need to go overboard, no-one expects you in a suit, but it’s probably not the best time to wear your tracksuit and moccasins either. Be friendly and pleasant to the property manager. By all means ask any questions you may have, but now isn’t the time to be surly and aggressive.
Some other suggestions
Some applicants (if they can afford to do so) will do things like offer to pay more each week, or offer to pay several months in advance. This can demonstrate to the property manager that you’re financially capable, and well organised and super motivated to have your application approved. Some other applicants will provide a “cover letter” with their application, a mini resume which details a back story to the applicant, and why they should be chosen. These things can make your application stand out from the rest, and help to prompt the property manager to rate you more highly to the landlord for their decision.