Tenant Application Tips



With rising house prices in Australia, the rental market can be very competitive. Fear of missing out is rife, and you can expect to find yourself competing with up to 50 or more other people for just one property. This shows the importance of preparing your rental application and ensuring you meet the tenant selection criteria.

Your rental application is one of the things the real estate agent, property manager and landlord will look at to determine if you’re the right tenant for the property. So it’s important that your application stands out from the crowd in order to get it approved.

To help you secure the property you want, here are some tips for preparing and submitting your rental application.

Preparing your rental application

1. Provide all relevant documents

You’ll need the following documents for your rental application:

· Reference letters

· Pet references (if applicable)

· Proof of income (recent payslips, bank statements, tax return)

· Letter of employment (if you’re starting a new job)

· Valid ID (passport, citizenship certificate, driver’s licence, Medicare card, utility bills)

· Resume of your rental/employment history

· Deposit/rental ledger (summary of your rental payment history)

· Cover letter

· Completed application form.

The documents you provide must equal 100 points or more. Make sure you have copies of these documents ready to submit to the real estate agent or property manager.

2. Have a completed set of documentation for all applicants

If you’re going to rent a place with other people, you’ll also need their completed application forms with all the required documentation included. The reason is because the real estate agent, property manager and landlord will need to consider every single person who wishes to rent the place and determine if they’re suitable tenants. Plus, having a completed set of documentation for all applicants/housemates will increase your chances of getting onto the top of the pile and securing the property you want.

3. Write a cover letter

Write about who you are, what your job is and why you’re moving. If you’re going to live with other people, introduce each person briefly. Also talk honestly about your rental/credit history, mention if you have pets, and write about the features of the property you found appealing. Make sure to highlight why you’d make a great tenant, e.g. you’ll look after the property well, you don’t smoke, etc. It’s important to be professional but also let your personality shine through. Address the letter to the landlord or property manager and keep it to one page.

4. Prove you can pay the rent

It’s very important that you show the landlord or property manager that you’ll be able to pHappy house hunting! ay the rent. You can do this by writing about your rental history and showing your current payslips and bank statements. If you earn a lot of money, have a good track record of paying on time, and if there’s plenty of cash in your savings account, you’ll improve your chances of securing the property. You could also offer to pay a few months of rent in advance.

5. Get your references ready

You should have at least three references. These could be from a real estate agent, property manager, landlord, co-worker, employer, former neighbour, TAFE/university tutor or accountant. With good recommendations from your references, you can prove to the real estate agent, property manager and landlord that you’ll be reliable, you’ll pay your rent on time and you’ll take good care of the property. Let all your references know that you want to list them on your application and once you get their approval, ask them to send a reference letter and their contact details.

6. Secure a guarantor

If you’ll be renting for the first time or you don’t have a very good rental/credit history, you can get a financial guarantor. A guarantor is someone who’ll sign the lease and be held accountable in the event that you can’t pay your rent or damage the property. They can add credibility to your rental application. If you’re moving out of home for the first time, you can use your parents as a guarantor. If you have poor credit, you can get a family member or friend with good credit and sufficient income to be your guarantor. Your guarantor should also submit the same application documents.

Submitting the application and following up

You can save time by submitting your application online via the real estate agency or property manager’s website. Your application will then be emailed to the agent responsible for the property listing and/or to the property manager. This means you’ll need to keep digital copies of your supporting documents. Only send your application after you’ve attended the inspection and decided you still want the property. Alternatively you can hand your application in personally, as this gives another chance to make a good impression. To increase your chances of getting approved, apply during the slow season. For example, apply in winter for summer hotspots, and for university towns, don’t apply at the beginning of the academic year.

If you don’t hear from the agent or property manager 2-3 days after you’ve submitted your application, follow up with them. Be pleasant and tell them how much you love the property and they might just pick you. If not, you can always apply for another.

Happy house hunting!

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