So you need to rent a property and have decided to start looking. For the very best chance of being approved for the property you WANT, there are a few tips and tricks. It all comes down to being organised, reading the instructions and following directions.
First of all when looking for a property, make sure you choose one:
- In the area that you want
- Consider if it is close to schools, public transport or work
- Has adequate fencing for your needs
- Has enough bedrooms
- Is AFFORDABLE for you!
- You can keep up with the garden maintenance
Where to Look for a Rental Property
There are many places to go to seek a place to rent. Here are some suggestions if you are finding it hard to find a place!
- Real Estate Agents (okay – I know that is obvious…)
- Check your local newspaper for listings
- Check your local Facebook information page – and if nothing – put a post about the type of house you are looking for!
- Instead of real estate agents, go to a property management company instead, they are the ones that know when places will come up!
So you have found one in the paper, online or driven past the property you are interested in. What now? Now’s the time to call the Real Estate Agent. First impressions count, so when calling, make sure you have no children screaming in the background and that you have the time to speak to them uninterrupted. Make sure you have the address or details of the property. Ask to look through the property or when the property will be open for inspection. Most real estate agents now hold Home Opens for rental properties to reduce the risk of time being wasted with no-shows.
When meeting the Real Estate Agent at the property make sure you are prompt. Take a camera with you to record any stains or marks (make sure the camera records the date). This is great if there is a dispute with damage after you move out. Be honest and pleasant with the Real Estate Agent, they are there to judge if you are a suitable candidate. When filling out the application, again be honest. Write neatly and watch for spelling and grammatical errors. Make sure you read the instructions properly and attach copies of all required documents. The less ‘work’ they have to do to chase you up, the more chance you have to land the property you want.
Best Chance of Securing the Property
Just like a job interview, you need to prepare when applying to rent a property. Landlords and Property Managers want to make sure that the tenant they have in the property will look after it, pay the rent on time and have minimal problems. So they will be looking for things like:
- Reference Letters from previous landlords.
- Character references from ‘upstanding’ members of the community that can vouch for you.
- Pay Slips, to show you earn a regular income
- Proof of payment of rent. Bring a copy of your bank statements showing the payments being made, or a letter from former landlords advising of your ability to pay.
First things first, contact the property manager and discuss the property to ensure it is a good fit for you, and to see if you are a good fit for the property. See if you can organise an inspection, and ask what documentation etc you will be required to bring.
It shouldn’t matter, but potential landlords are always going to judge you on your appearance. So to make a good impression:
- Dress appropriately. Have clean, neat clothing, shirts tucked in, shoes clean. Put your best face forward.
- Be on time. If you can’t for any reason, give your potential landlord a call BEFORE the appointment. It is assumed that if you are late for an appointment, you might also be late on rent!
- Listen to what is being said, don’t swear or interrupt.
- Highlight any personal hobbies that will make you an attractive potential tenant. If you love gardening and are willing to do some – speak up. If you are handy and happy to fix small problems effectively, let that be known!
- If you have a pet, be honest about it. Some landlords can be understanding if they know your animal won’t cause damage to their property. Consider writing a cute little resume for your pet, explaining how house-trained they are!
Documents that you may need for the application:
- Drivers License
- Birth Certificate
- Personal and Work references
- Other Photo ID
- Current Pay Slip or other proof of income
- Previous tenancy references
- Bank Statement
- Telephone Account in your name
- Electricity Account in your name
Different agencies ask for different documents, but if you have everything on this list with you, you can’t go wrong. Plus have on hand the orignalys, plus copies that the agent can take with them – it shows you are prepared!
Make sure you can afford the bond monies and that all the agreements are read thoroughly and signed. Keep copies of everything! When moving in check for cleanliness (again use a camera and if there are any disputes before moving in or within the time frame for the Property Condition Report to be returned, speak to your property manager).
Other Great Tips to Get Ahead of the Pack:
- If you really need a rental desperately, a good tactic (if you can afford it) is to offer a higher rent than that stated. Property investors are around to make money – so this will be attractive and a good incentive to pick YOU!
- Have the rental application filled out BEFORE the inspection. It is easier for the property manager, and looks good.
- Make sure you have all your documentation, with originals, plus two copies. Have all the required copies in a file, looking neat (not just loose) – ready to go.
- Always call after the inspection to follow up and let them know you are interested.