Your guide to getting that rental
The rental competition is fierce and exacerbated by the often-limited listings in your suburb of choice.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to strategise and employ your best plan of attack in securing that coveted rental property.
Responsibility, reliability, and the all-important ability to pay the rent on time, every time, are some of the winning characteristics in a renter that will be highly sought-after by a rental provider/landlord.
Of course, preparation and due diligence are also key in ticking all the boxes that put you ahead of the competition.
Top tips for renter success
Making sure your essential documentation is in place is an ideal start. You will need primary forms of identification, which have a photo ID when applying. These include a valid driver’s licence, passport and a Keypass or other official proof of age.
You may also be required to produce secondary forms of ID, including a birth certificate, Medicare or healthcare card, ATM card, student card, utility bill, bank statement and payslip, among others.
Having the ability to prove your reliable earning capacity is important for the agent representing the rental property and ultimately your potential landlord/rental provider.
When applying for a rental property, it is also helpful to present recent payslips, especially if you are a first-time renter and need to prove your worth without the support of recorded rental history.
Proven rental history bodes well for future security
A rental ledger is an official record of rent and related payments of a previous or existing rental property.
The ledger is commonly accessed in an electronic format and will include: the date the rent was paid; the date the rent was recorded by a property manager; receipt number; amount paid; type of payment; a “paid to” date, which is the date the rent is advanced up to as a result of the payment being made; sometimes a “paid from” date, which is the date the rent period started on; and the amount of arrears, if applicable.
If you don’t have a rental ledger, this can easily be acquired, often within several business days, from your current property manager.
Reliable referees hold the key
Trusted, respected and reliable referees play a major role in reassuring the agent of your viability and responsibility as a tenant/renter.
Most landlords/rental providers will require character references from at least three sources. Ensure that you have these in writing and also forewarn your referees that the potential property manager may contact them for verbal references.
What to do on inspection day
Of course, you should be on time, and preferably a little early, on property inspection day — and also adopt a personable approach.
Look smart and make yourself known to the property manager with a smile, steady eye contact and firm handshake.
While all proposed housemates for the property in question are not required to attend inspection day, it is important to be represented by a solid, responsible and business-like group member.
Don’t forget to follow up with the property manager after inspection day to stress your interest and remind them of your reliability as a renter.
Remaining front of mind with the real estate representative without becoming a nuisance is an excellent way to stand out from the crowd and secure that must-have rental!