Rental laws can get muddy and difficult to understand. Here’s HOOD's breakdown of your rights as a tenant according to Victorian legislation.
How to secure the rental property you want
Here's a guide from HOOD packed full of tips and tricks for finding and securing the rental property you really want.
In the market for a new place? Here’s a guide from HOOD packed full of tips and tricks for finding and securing the rental property you really want.
So you want to move house but can’t seem to find the properties that you want.
While there could be many different reasons for this, it’s usually because you’re in a highly competitive price bracket. Everyone wants a beautiful home in the nice suburbs, and that can make securing a place very challenging.
But other people seem to get their dream home, so there has to be tips and tricks to getting a rental property. There must be something giving them an advantage.
This is where your tenant application comes in. It plays a crucial role in helping you stand out from the other applicants for all property types.
The good news is, your real estate search only gets easier from here. Here are 6 pointers on how to get a rental property, with some extra advice from Foxie-friend, Wendy Eva-Scott, founder of Your Home Hunter – Australia’s premier renter’s advocacy service.
TIP #1: Make a memorable first impression
Your first impression should create an image of trustworthiness to the agent.
Put your best foot forward at the open for inspection by arriving on time. Also, give thought to how you present yourself – you should dress well and speak confidently to assure the agent that you are the tenant they need.
According to Wendy, this will show that you’re serious about securing the property.
“It indicates that you respect the agent’s time as much as your own. Most Property Managers show multiple properties on the one day, so they appreciate people who are prompt and courteous”, she says.
One thing agents will try to gauge from the moment they meet you is your lifestyle. As such, leaving a positive impression can really help you get approved for a property.
TIP #2: Submit a complete application
As obvious as this may seem, many people submit their rental application without filling it out correctly.
“Property agents are busy people and providing all of the information upfront can accelerate the application process”, Wendy says.
“If you miss anything, they will have to obtain that information from you. So, you should make sure you include details of your rental history, referees, and employment background”, she said.
TIP #3: Write a killer cover letter
Not everyone needs to write a cover letter to secure a place. However, it could help explain your situation, particularly for people who:
- Have pets
- Are self-employed
- Have no rental history
Wendy says that, while these factors can make it harder to get a rental property, it’s not impossible.
“A well-written cover letter will show the agent that you will still be a great tenant”, she said.
In Australia, many agents use 1form to collect information about potential renters. Using this platform to submit an online application can make the process much easier. You can even share your application with agencies that don’t use 1form by sending them an email with a link to your unique information.
This helps meet all of your desires from the land size to the number of bathrooms in your ideal property.
TIP #4: Choose your referees well
When processing your application, agents will do background checks to get a solid sense of your character. This will include contacting a couple of people who know you and asking them for a reference.
You will need to provide the contact details of a few referees as part of your application. Previous or current employers are usually the best choice as they can vouch for both your character and your employment history/income.
Wendy also notes that your accountant or financial advisor could be a great referee, particularly if you’re self-employed.
“They could be crucial in helping prove that you can actually pay the rent”.
She also says that, if you’re worried about how to secure a rental property, one of the most important things to do is make sure your references are ready for the agent’s call.
“If the Property Manager can’t reach your referees, this could hold up the processing of your application. And, the longer they need to wait to hear back, the higher the chances are that they’ll move onto the next application”.
TIP #5: Submit your application early
“When looking at properties for rent, time is of the essence. The longer you wait to put in an application, the lower your chance of getting to call it home”, Wendy warns.
“It’s a lot like applying for a job. Suppose a company puts out an ad for a position and their HR Manager starts receiving applications. If they find a great candidate who fits all their criteria, they probably won’t waste time waiting for other applicants”, she says.
So, if you find a rental property you like, we recommend getting your application in as quickly as possible. Usually email / online is best for this, as it is instant and encourages a quicker response.
TIP #6: Mind your social media posts
Sometimes, real estate agents may search your social media pages for background checks
when considering your application for their rental properties.
Don’t worry, this is completely normal.
With this in mind, be careful of what you share on your page, especially if it’s public. You should have a modest and well-curated page that gives the agent assurance.
Remember a good, dependable lifestyle is key in securing your rental property.
Everything will fall into place
There’s no doubt that the search for a new home can be exhausting. But, if you follow these amazing tips, you can find your dream house in Australia.
If you need some extra motivation, consider Wendy’s own experience – it was only a few years ago that she was having issues securing her own property as a single mum with 2 young girls. Not only did she eventually find herself the perfect place, but she also identified a gap in the real estate market and now specializes in helping others find the right homes for rent.
Your dream home is right around the corner.
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