Top ten tips for applying for rental properties
28/05/2018 Kristy Hopkins
These days, it’s getting more and more difficult to find your dream rental property, and if you do, it’s as if everyone else has their eyes set on the same one. With minimal vacancy, it seems that properties are leasing just as quickly as they are coming on. So how do you give yourself that competitive edge? Here are my ten top tips to help you get ahead of the game!
1. Be prepared
Many agencies now take a 1form application. In fact, most agencies now prefer it. You can complete the 1form application ahead of time and when you are ready to apply for a property it’s already done and good to go!
If you are super keen on a property and don’t know if they take this method of application, a simple call to the agency will let you know. If they don’t use 1form, the call gives you a good opportunity to request an application form that they do use.
2. Ensure your details are up to date and correct
As a property manager, it can be tough contacting references because of the number of phone numbers that are outdated or incorrect. Check and then double check; especially if you’re using 1form. People use their old applications to apply for properties because it’s the quick option but they forget to update their details and the details of their references.
Also ensure you apply with your legal name. Don’t list your nickname or even the ‘English version’ of your name. We require your legal name for all documents.
3. Notify your references
Property managers will conduct checks on the information provided on your application form by contacting your listed references. A lot of people forget to notify their references that they are applying for properties and this can delay the process significantly. Unaware references won’t answer their phone or call back if they don’t know who we are. Also, due to the privacy of the applicant, they may be reluctant or unable to provide details regarding your employment or previous rental history without your authority, and this delays the process all the more.
4. Ensure you supply adequate proof of identity
As part of leasing the property, we need to be sure that you are who you say you are. This is for background checks and for document preparation amongst other things.
5. Register yourself for inspections
A lot of agencies now use third party programs (such as InspectRealEstate) or have an in-house process to assist with registering details so you can be notified of inspections. Try to get your details registered wherever possible so you can be kept up to date with information about when the property is available to inspect, when there’s updates to inspection times (changes, cancellations, etc.) and if the property is leased.
6. Check the internet daily
New properties are published online every day, even multiple times a day. Look regularly! Sometimes properties will come on but by the time you spot them an inspection has already been conducted and you have missed out.
7. Attend inspections
To try and get applicants through the properties as quickly as possible, agents will list properties as ‘open for inspection’ during the current tenancy. However, this means that the agents are limited to times set by the current tenants and their availability. Agents cannot always provide a private inspection in these cases.
Whilst the times may not always be convenient for you, it’s important to try your best to attend inspections. It will give you the chance to see the property in person but you’ll also be able to meet the property manager and familiarise yourself with them and the agency.
You might not get the property the first time, but gives you the chance to chat to the property manager about similar properties. That way, you’re in the forefront of their mind and they can refer you to similar properties that become available.
8. Only apply for what you really want
All too often I get multiple applications from people who are just applying for anything and everything without inspecting or even really wanting the property! This means the property manager will spend a significant amount of time scouring through applications to find the applicants that genuinely want the properties.
A rule of thumb is to inspect the property first, then apply. If you are unable to attend the inspection, contact the agent and explain the situation. Some agencies will process based on-sight unseen provided they know you are genuinely interested; that is, they’ll process your application on the basis that you are happy to lease the property without having seen its condition.
9. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
Whilst you shouldn’t apply for anything and everything, don’t limit yourself to just one property. Go to a few property inspections and apply for those you genuinely are interested in – and don’t leave it too long to apply!
You may not get the first property you apply for but that doesn’t mean your application isn’t any good. It can be a tough decision for owners and they can only choose one applicant.
But, if you are successful in securing a property, make sure you notify the other agencies of your cancellation on any other applications.
10. Be available to reach!
Property managers will sometimes have questions regarding your application or require further information. The easier you are to reach, the easier your application is to process. And if you’ve been approved, the easier it is to pass on good news!
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