Renting Tips

© Property Professor articles — www.thepropertyprofessor.net.au.
Reproduced with permission.

Mid January to the end of February is the busiest time of the year for tenants and landlords. In addition to the usual number of tenants looking for accommodation, students are searching as they have just been offered a place at university/TAFE and interstate work transfers are also looking for a new home.

One problem you have is that as you have never rented before, you have no rental history and this doesn’t place you in the “ideal tenant” category. However, there are some things that you can do to increase your chances of having your rental application accepted by the landlord. here are my tips.

1. BE PREPARED
You should have your application pack ready so that you can give it to the property manager at the inspection (if you like the property). Your application pack will include the real estate agency’s application form (which you can obtain and complete prior to the inspection) and your portfolio. Your portfolio should contain documents such as:

  • Copy of photo ID e.g. driver’s license, passport, student ID card
  • Copy of Medicare card
  • References from employer/teacher/lecturer (not your mum and dad!)
  • Pay slip (if you have a part time job)
  • Copy of a bank account, phone account (this is evidence that you have some income and can pay some bills).

2. BE PROMPT
You should be outside the property waiting for the property manager. This shows that you are keen.

3. BE PRO-ACTIVE
Contact the property manager the following day to ask how the application process is coming along. Don’t sound too desperate on the phone but this indicates that you are keen and serious.

4 .PRESENT WELL
Turn up in business or at least neat casual dress. Don’t go to the open inspection in your board shorts and Bintang singlet. In a tight rental market as we are currently experiencing, you need to dress as if you were going to a job interview, not as if you were going to the beach.

5. DO THE EXTRA BIT
Tenancy laws in each state vary but you will be asked to pay a bond and some rent in advance. Why not offer to pay more rent in advance than requested? Often landlords/property managers are not allowed to ask for more rent than legally required but they are able to take extra if offered by the tenant.

There are other strategies that you can use to better your chances such as offering more than the asking rent, ask your parents to go guarantor or even have your parent’s name on the lease. I am not too keen on these latter strategies but if you are getting desperate and the first 5 tips haven’t secured a new home for you, you just may have to consider them.

Good Luck!

Written by Peter Koulizos, university lecturer, author and buyers advocate.

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