Competition for rental properties is always fierce, especially at the beginning of the year when the number of rental renewals is high.
With landlords and property managers therefore able to pick and choose the best tenants for their properties, here are six tips to ensure your application stands out above the rest.
When renting, risk doesn't equal reward.
Property managers are looking for minimum risk from a tenant. They want to know that you’ll be able to pay the rent on time and that you’ll keep their home in good condition. You and your application should therefore alleviate any fears they might have about you as a tenant. So first and foremost, when inspecting a property, dress well and introduce yourself to the property manager or landlord. And it sounds obvious, but be sure to complete your application - around 30% of applications are received incomplete.
The outcome depends on your income.
The first thing a property manager will look at is your income. Ideally, they’ll want to see regular income and stability in your employment. If you’ve recently switched jobs, or lost one, provide a reason why. And make sure that you’re not aiming too high too - the property manager will look for tenants whose rental payments aren’t more than about a third of their total income.
Don’t make your rental history a mystery.
The property manager will want to see that in your previous or current rental home, you paid the rent on time, took care of the property and were easy to deal with for things like repairs and inspections. Provide contact details or a reference from your previous landlord or property manager so that those details are easy for the new property manager to obtain.
Give your references a heads up.
Make sure you provide the phone numbers of at least two references in your application. These should ideally be current or previous employers or property managers, not family members. Always ask them if they're ok being a reference for you, and let them know in advance that they might receive a call, so they’re not caught off guard and have time to prepare what to say.
Does Rex have a reference too?
Do you have a cat or dog? Even if your rental property is pet friendly, you’ll still need to show that your furry friend is a good boy or girl. A photo and a reference from a previous landlord or property manager will go a long way to helping you and your pet find a good home.
Make every post a winner.
A landlord or property manager will probably check you out on social media. They’ll be looking firstly to see what sort of person you are, your social habits and friends. They’ll also want to verify that the information on your application matches that on your social media accounts, so make sure you update it to reflect your current employment and address.