It can be hard finding a rental property, and often it feels like agents won’t give you a chance if you’ve never rented before. So that’s why we’ve prepared our TOP 5 TIPS for you to help you prepare to secure a rental property.
Tip 1: Set Up Property Alerts
The best way to become familiar with the newest rental properties is to set up property alerts using these main websites; www.RealEstate.com.au and www.Domain.com.au. These alerts allow you to specify the type of property you’re looking for, the budget you’re searching within, and the suburbs you’re interested in. The alerts will then come to your inbox on the days/times that you select and you’ll be notified of new properties for rent the moment they appear online. This will keep you ahead of the market, allow you to become familiar with your local rental market and avoid you having to log onto each website daily (or several times each day) to check if there are new rental properties available.
Tip 2: Prepare A Budget.
If you’re moving out of your family home for the first time, it’s wise to prepare a budget. This budget should consider all the income you’ll have coming into your household, and all the expenses you’ll have to plan for. Some of your expenses might include:
§ Car payment and other car expenses (like petrol, insurance, registration and ongoing maintenance)
§ Phone, internet and mobile
§ Electricity and gas supply
§ Contents insurance (your landlord will have insurance for the property, but not for your belongings)
§ Food and other grocery items
§ And anything else you plan to include in your life that costs money
When you’re applying for a rental property, the property manager will need to calculate the affordability of the weekly rent, based on your weekly income. Just like a bank providing a mortgage on a home, the property manager will likely want to see that the weekly rent reflects no more than 30% of the weekly income coming into your household. So if you’re living alone, that 30% will be based purely on your personal income, but if you’re living with other people, the 30% will be based on the entire group’s income.
Tip 3: Assemble Your Identification.
Before you’re able to be approved for a rental property, it’s essential that you’re able to identify yourself. In most cases, you’ll be requested to provide 100 points of identification (Drivers Licence, Passport, Payslips/Proof of Income and Current Residential Address. As well as the below information for the application form.
§ All your personal details (name, address, date of birth, email, phone numbers, etc.).
§ Current home address, previous home address (and perhaps the address before that).
§ Current employment details (including contact details for your employer so that your employment can be confirmed).
§ Proof of income (this might include payslips if you’re working; Centrelink statements, if you’re receiving benefits; proof of any investments, etc.).
§ Various references and referees (but we’ll talk more about that later).
Tip 4: Attending Rental Inspections.
Once it’s time to attend inspections of rental properties, there are a few etiquette suggestions that are useful to keep in mind.
Present well for the inspection. While, you don’t need to dress like you’re attending a job interview, we suggest you dress in a tidy manner, be clean, have a general neat appearance. You don’t get a second chance at a first impression.
Introduce yourself. When you meet with the property manager showing you through the property, be sure to introduce yourself and any other people who have joined you for the inspection. If the property manager has time, this is also a great opportunity to explain your situation, if you’re a first time tenant, and request any information from the property manager that might assist you in preparing your application.
Take your shoes off. It’s likely that the property you’re inspecting is someone else’s home currently. To be courteous, we recommend you always offer to take your shoes off before entering someone else’s home.
Bring a parent. If you’re moving out of the family home for the first time, and your parents are assisting you with this process, bring them with you to the inspection. They will offer a valuable perspective of the property, and it’s also useful for them to meet your property manager at this time too.
Tip 5: Submitting Your Application.
Each real estate agency will have a slightly different way of accepting application forms, so while you’re inspecting a property, be sure to ask the property manager about their preferred application process.
Once you have the application form (physical or online) complete it as quickly as possible. So often, properties are leased very quickly because tenants are organized and submit their application forms quickly. Be sure to be one of the fastest tenant, submitting your application in full.
Remember a few things:
§ Complete the application form in full – don’t leave anything out.
§ Submit all your supporting documents as part of your application (identification, proof of income, references, etc.).
§ Follow up with the property manager on the phone to make sure they’ve received the full application and to check if there’s anything else yo
u need to do.
§ Ask the property manager how long the application process is likely to take and follow up with a phone call after that time period to find out if your application was successful.
§ You may not get approved for the first property you apply for, so be consistent until you secure the right rental property.
Remember, if you ever need assistance or more information in relation to renting, we’re always happy to offer advice, even if we don’t have a property you’re interested in on our books at the time.