The big wide world awaits, stepping into your first space all of your own is incredibly liberating. Depending on your housemates, you can roam free untethered by your parents expectations and unbothered by that awful roommate from uni. Your rental application can make or break these dreams.
But without an extensive rental history you might get beaten out for properties by double income families, older singles or even someone just like you. The key to writing a killer application is preparation, so follow these steps and you’ll have real estate agents contacting you eagerly, rather than the other way around.
Be on time
Before you even start the application, an agent will garner an opinion of you. A Saturday open house that piques your interest may be the only event of the day for you, but for agents it’s one of many. 9am-3pm Saturdays is packed to the brim with open house appointments and negotiations, so being mindful of this will put you in their good books. Turn up on time, even a fraction early and be courteous as you walk through the property. Treating it as if it’s your own is a great start.
Create a rental resume
Rented before? Excellent. Write it all out with contacts for easy reference checks for the agent. This way they don’t have to ring you for each contact number, more often than not they won’t even bother. If a property is in high demand, then they will not hesitate to toss yours to the side if it’s effort intensive.
Get a guarantor
If you haven’t rented before, don’t stress, a guarantor is the perfect safety net. A guarantor acts as a source of rent in times of hardship if you were to say lose your job, and it’s written into the lease. Landlords just want to find a reliable tenant and if you’re young and inexperienced in the art of renting, this is a solid step to putting yourself in the more desirable pile. Mum or Dad are the most likely candidates but if you have a financially stable family friend who offers than go for it.
Have all your documents certified
Unless it’s certified it could be doctored. It may seem unnesscary but head to your local Justice of The Peace and get him/her to sign away. If you go with a handful of copies, you can have a folder of important documents ready to go for each property. This is best practice for bank statements, proof of address and identification documents. Save yourself from missing out on your dream place because you were running around madly in your lunch break looking for a JOP.
Show proof of regular payments
Whether you’ve leased before or not, showing your reliability with money is key to putting yourself a head of the pack. Paid of your car without defaulting? Print out the statements. Even if it was credit card or technology, it shows you pay on time which is every agents dream. Just don’t bring along your bank statement detailing just what percentage of your wage you spend on ubereats, it’s not going to help
There’s no point lying, if they don’t take you based on the facts, it’s not the right place for you. Finding a great place can be terribly hard, but don’t be disheartened. Lying about pets, past work history, financial situation and rental history is a quick way to get blacklisted by your local agent. If you have a pet and the property mentions no pets, be upfront with the agent. Sometimes this may be a notice for big dogs or inside only pets. With a little explanation and proof of house training, you may just be able to make it happen.
Some prospective renters even make up a resume for their pet to win over agents, how adorable.
For the time poor agent riffling through 50 pages per applicant is no fun at all. If you’re perusing Domain or RealEstate.com.au, a lot of agents will have an online form for potential renters to fill out on the spot. While it’s unwise to throw your name in without even seeing the property, it’s a great platform to have your information ready to go right after the open house. It will show just how eager you are to live there.
Don’t overload the agent with paper work
Applying online is one great way to solve this tree ravaging practice, another is to only submit the key documents. Don’t overwhelm the agent with a reference from you mother, brother, sister and cousin, instead submit your most compelling documents. 100 points of ID, rental history, guarantor info, proof of employment and payment details are the essential ones.
Although you may think it’s a little terrifying to reach out to the agent once you’ve submitted an application, it’s actually common practice. Even if you don’t get this particular rental, opening up a line of communication will put you in a warmer spot come their next opening. Wait at least three business days and then a week after that if you don’t hear back. This gives them plenty of time to contact the owner and make their decision. Pestering them, pleading your case or openly begging will not work, it will only aggravate.
Once you’ve been approved, be ready to move. Make the whole process as swift as possible, this agent will soon be your rental reference so keep on good terms for your own sake. Happy house hunting!
Image source: ING Belgium.