5 Ways To Improve Your Chances Of Getting A Rental Property
There’s nothing worse when you’re on the hunt for a rental than turning up to another open home inspection only to see a crowd of other would be renters ready to sign on.
In a competitive market it can feel like it’s all too hard.
But there are ways to get the edge on the competition.
Get the basics sorted first. You’d be amazed how many prospective tenants don’t fill out their application forms properly.
Those end up in the bin, because agents don’t need to waste time chasing up incomplete forms.
Turn up on time for viewings (especially now that social distancing means agents have to make more time to show people through), dress well and be charming when engaging with the agent.
Presentation: These days, it’s not just how you present in person, but also what an agent can find out from your social media accounts, so ditch the party pics and ensure work or financial details are up to date.
Don’t skimp on the financial details. For those on a salary, the longer you have been employed in your current job, the more stable you appear.
For self-employed folks, at least two years’ worth of business financials is desirable.
If unemployed, a statement showing your savings is necessary, plus an explanation as to why you are between jobs.
You may be taking time off before starting a new role, been made redundant, or sold a business for a windfall, in which case you still have the funds to comfortably cover the duration of a lease.
Be realistic: You shouldn’t be looking to pay more than 35% of your income on rent, as this will be a perceived risk for a landlord, so apply for properties within your financial reach.
You wouldn’t apply for a job without a CV, so apply the same thinking here.
Create a rental resume with job details, salary, financial statements, pay slips, prior rental experience and reference letters with the contact details of referees.
A copy of your photo ID is also a must.
If you are planning to share a house, get your housemates’ documents ready to go too.
There are also apps out there such as 1Form that allow you to use a single form for multiple applications and provide tenant verification for agents, so consider such options for streamlining an application.
First timers: If you have no rental history, a letter detailing your financial stability, reliability and promising to take good care of the landlord’s property could be a nice touch.
When you have everything in place, but so do a bunch of other people you’re competing against, it’s time to go next level.
First, if you plan to stick around a while, offer to sign a longer term lease. Any landlord who has had to repeatedly fill tenant vacancies knows how costly it can be, so will jump at the chance of a 2 or 3 year lease and some financial certainty.
The added benefit is that it also protects you from short term rental hikes.
Next, if you are financially able, offer as much of the money upfront as you can. Paying three months’ worth of rent in advance will show how serious you are.
Finally, if you have relevant skills, such as gardening or carpentry, you could offer to do some maintenance as part of the deal.
Some landlords don’t allow pets, so if your housemate is a four-legged friend, it’s best to find out in advance.
If pets are allowed, include their details on your rental resume: type of animal, breed, size, whether they malt, details of their training or good behaviour and a picture for consideration.
Be open and honest about having a pet, because otherwise you may end up with a black spot on your rental resume in the future.