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Five Tips for Acing a Rental Application in Australia

The uber competitive Australian rental market can be a minefield. These expert tips will help you nail your application and score your dream home.

Bondi, Sitchu

The most polite way we can describe the calamitously competitive Australian rental market is: competitive. With queues around the block to inspect one-bedroom flats, constantly hiking rents and renters returning to major cities post covid, the sheer amount of applicants interested in each property is overwhelming.

With competition this fierce, making your application stand out from the crowd and catch the agent’s eye for all the right reason is of paramount importance.  Luckily for you, we’re here to help with our top five expert-approved tips for acing your rental application in Australia.

Paddington, Sitchu

Introduce Yourself to The Agent

Renting is a long-term prospect and so it makes sense that property managers are focused more on relationships rather than transactions. Say hello and introduce yourself upon arrival at a property. Engaging with the agent and asking questions can help you build rapport and give you the best chance of standing out in a busy field of applicants. If you cannot meet with the agent in person to help them put a face to your name, take a conversational approach to your online or phone interactions. Human connections go a long way in the real estate industry. Remember, this is a person you might be dealing with repeatedly if you’re successful with your application so it’s important to put your best foot forward.

Bondi, Sitchu

Answer Application Questions Clearly & Accurately

Application forms are handed out at all in-person inspections or completed online. When filling out an application, it’s essential to be honest about your circumstances even if you think it’s something your landlord might not be open to like pets or potential housemates. Put yourself in the landlord’s shoes (even though imagining yourself as a home-owner might be a stretch of the imagination for many young Aussies); your landlord is trusting you with one of their most important assets and deserves your honesty.

On the other hand, make sure to share information about your lifestyle to highlight what makes you a desirable tenant, but do not overdo it. No one is going to believe that cleaning your rental’s gutters is your favourite hobby. The key is to be detailed but concise. Explain why the property suits you, demonstrate that you are a reliable tenant, and make sure you include information specific to your furry friends. A landlord is not just looking for someone to pay the rent on time, but someone who will look after their property and care about it. If you put your best foot forward to convince them that you will do both, you will increase your chances that they will choose you over other potential tenants.

Paddington, Sitchu

Be Prepared

To quote the Scouts: always be prepared. Check the application form for any identification required and make sure you have clear copies that can be uploaded or supplied as required. It also helps to be prepared with reference letters from past landlords and employers. This is particularly important if you’re looking for pet-friendly rentals where the competition is incredibly fierce. As well as your own information, it is worthwhile to have all your information ready for a pet application – i.e., photos, vet information, a reference from your past property manager, and details about where your pet will be housed while you are out of town.

Bondi, Sitchu

Be Patient but Stay Present

Once you have filled out and submitted your form, allow the agent at least 24 hours to process your application. Be patient but keep in touch throughout the process. Ensure that you are on hand to answer any further questions or provide any additional information or documentation necessary. Remember, a rental contract is a legal document, so there are many checks and balances.

Bondi, Sitchu

Pay The Initial Payment or Deposit Promptly

If you are approved, pay your initial payment or deposit promptly. Landlords lose money when properties are empty, so they are always motivated to secure tenants and their deposits promptly. Waiting too long to pay may cause you to lose the property, even if you are a great tenant in all other respects. Remember the hordes of people from the initial inspection and remember that there will be multiple viable tenants waiting in the wings with their payment ready when the opportunity calls. If you are approved but change your mind, immediately let the agent know to withdraw your application so that the landlord can move on, and the next applicant can be offered the property.

Found our tips for acing your rental application in Australia helpful? Looking for more advice for everything from buying property as a single person to the coolest (yet still affordable) suburbs for first home buyers head over to The Sitch

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