How to secure a rental property in a competitive market

I think we can all agree that trying to get a rental property at the moment is pretty competitive. With interstate buyers moving to the Gold Coast and renting before they buy, and landlords moving back into their homes, the amount of available rental properties is deceasing. Rental affordability is also changing as  landlord increase the rent to match the market demand.  Long term renters are being pushed from their rental properties into the every growing sea of other renters looking to secure a decent property that they can afford.


So how do you stand out from the crowd and secure the rental property for yourself?


As an active property manager on the Gold Coast, I get this question a lot! Unfortunately there are a lot of different factors that the property Manager may be looking for, however there are a few generic things I always look out for when sifting through rental applicants.


Here are my 5 top tips to help you be chosen over other rental applicants:

  1. Ensure you can afford the rent – Most managers will start sorting out potential renters by their ability to service the rent. I will look at the regular income that comes in by looking at payslips and bank statements and make sure that the rent isn’t more than 1/3 of the total income. This gives me/the owners, reassurance that you can afford the property and I won’t be chasing rent from you each week. I also ask for 3 months of bank statements. If I see a pattern of huge buy ups from Dan Murphy’s each Friday night, I may be more inclined to wonder if this leads to house party’s, which could result to damage to the property.
  1. References – I will then go through and look at the referees you have chosen for references. If you have used parents or best friends, the integrity of the references dull in comparison to past landlords, a boss or supervisor, a house cleaner, or someone that is not emotionally involved in the outcome. A personally written reference letter that you attach with your application will also help you to stand out from the crowd.
  1. Rental history – A strong rental history which shows regular rent payments and long term leases is always favourable in my eyes. Attach a rental ledgerThis shows that you can hold down a rental property without incidents. If you can include previous routine inspection reports, that will earn bonus points. 
  1. A clean/mature/professional social media presence – Clean up any photos on Facebook or Instagram which allude to house party’s, or reckless lifestyle choices. This is 100% judgemental, but I will always eliminate anyone that I feel may cause dramas in the way of damage to the property or noise or parking complaints from neighbours.
  1. A cover letter, photo, phone call to follow up – This may sound a bit crazy, but anything you can do to put a face to your name or to add a personal connection could help your chances. It’s human nature to naturally gravitate towards someone we feel familiar with. This doesn’t negate the points above, but it may help your inch in front of someone else to give a good first impression. 


At the end of the day, it all comes down to first impressions. First impressions with how you apply, the way your application looks, how the supporting documents appear and the first impressions the property manager or landlord has of you when they meet you. Whatever you can do to make these first few seconds positive will ensure you stick in their mind and give yourself the best chance of securing the rental property for yourself. 

Post by Deb Farquhar

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