How to make your rental application stand out

By Cassidy Pleysier | Mon 5th April '21

Want to know the dos and dont’s of your 1form application?

Here are your top questions answered by property manager, Cassidy Pleysier from Kin Real Estate

What can tenants do to make their 1form stand out?

The best thing you can do is to have as many documents about yourself as possible. 

Include documents such as:

  • Copy of your savings bank balance (the more savings you have, the better)
  • Drivers license & passport (or proof of age card)
  • Medicare card
  • A letter from your current agent stating that you have paid the rent on time (rental ledger) or even a letter from your current employer telling us how great of a person you are
  • Good references (Important! We actually do check!) Do not give your mum as a reference from a fake business. It is our job to make sure that you are legitimate, and we google your employers or real estate agency to make sure everything checks out.

Update: Changes to rental laws on 29 March 2021 prohibit agents from asking for credit card or bank account statements which show daily transactions.

What are the most important things to include in a rental application?

It is important to include:

  • Rental history
  • Current or previous employment
  • Parental guarantee letters if you are a student receiving money from your parents
  • Information on pets if you have them
  • Info on who will be renting with you and how many months you would like to lease the property
  • Any references that are valid
  • All important identification documents and savings bank balance copy
  • Any documentation if you are on a visa from overseas
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What do first-time renters usually miss on their application?

References from previous/current employers and documents proving identity and financial stability are the two most common things that are missed on an application.

What are some things you can do to boost your rental application? 

Firstly, just make sure your rental application has all the information on it that is required to apply for the house. The less we have to call you to ask you to upload documents, the better!

If you have all of your important documents, your 1form filled out correctly, all information regarding the lease start date and how much you are offering to rent the property for, you will stand out. The more organised you are to rent the property, the more likely we will review your application and get the ball rolling.

What should you not include on a 1form application?

As long as the rent and bills are paid, there's not much you shouldn't include - besides from the obvious  'love to throw crazy house parties'! If you are planning on going abroad for a long time, it may be good to send an email in case we need access to the property at any time, especially for routine inspections or maintenance issues. 

Any major changes to your rental should be approved by the landlord before you go ahead with them. You do not need to put your life story or too much information about yourself on your application. A small concise blurb about yourself and why you want to rent at a particular property will suffice.

How important is it to meet & greet the agent at rental inspections?

Meeting and greeting the agent during the inspection is an extremely important part of solidifying your chance of being considered for the rental property you’re applying for.

The first impression you give us at an inspection gives us (the agent) a glimpse of who we perceive you are as a person and how we believe you will take care of the property. Presenting your most authentic self is key, we can see through people who are too pushy, and we usually write those people off as overbearing.

If you are late to the appointment and do not make eye contact or talk to us in a polite and friendly manner we may think you will not maintain the property well. 

Sometimes this can all feel a little bit harsh but the truth of it is, most of us treat our rentals as if we owned them. Therefore, we put the people in our rental who we would put into our own investment property. 

So, imagine you owned a property, and try to be the person who you would like renting it. That way, you’ll attract the type of property and agent that suits you. First impressions really do count!

What can a tenant do to make a good first impression on the real estate agent?

Generally, landlords and property managers are looking for people who are well presented, polite, smiling, proactive and easy to communicate with. 

The best thing to do is to be yourself (and maybe add a few extra smiles). As mentioned earlier be the person who you would rent to if roles were reversed. 

Be organised and be friendly. Don’t be afraid to talk to the property manager and ask them how they are going, take an interest and make a statement. If you are applying as a couple or with friends, be open to talking them up too! Getting a sense of stability for relationships, and between housemates helps. 

Don't be afraid to talk about your hobbies, interests and work, especially if the rental is near your workplace. Having a short conversation, and telling us a bit about who you are helps us understand what kind of tenant you might be.

We are looking for reliable, organised, clean and tidy individuals who are friendly and easy to deal with.

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What are the key things to look out for at rental inspections?

Everyone has different requirements for what they actually need in a rental home, however, there are definitely a few key things to look out for. As my boss, Filomena, always says to me, ‘how it begins, it ends’. Which means if you get to an inspection and the property manager is rude, judgmental or disorganised, 9 times out of 10 that is how communication with the property manager will go throughout the rest of your tenancy. So, as well as being mindful of how you conduct yourself at an inspection, you’re entitled to think about how you feel about the property manager too! 

A few cosmetic things to think about are: 

  • The cleanliness of the house and how that can potentially affect your health and headspace.
  • Storage, storage, storage! See if there is at the very least a linen closet, and perhaps check if the wardrobe sizes work well for you.
  • Carport or storage cage – If it is an apartment and you have a place to park your car, ask if there is a storage cage included. Sometimes property managers may not include or mention a storage cage if you do not ask about it!

What are the different ways to find a rental?

In my opinion, if you are starting a fresh lease, it is best to go through a real estate agency. That way you know that everything is lawful and you will be less at risk for any dodgy behaviour from landlords or property managers. 

If you are just renting a room, I would recommend the websites Flatmates and Flatmatefinders. When I was living in a shared house, I and many of my closest friends found share houses that way. Another great option for sharing would be Facebook sites such as Fairy Floss real estate.

Through these platforms you will find great, affordable share homes, often with like-minded people (but not always!). Be careful online who you rent from and with. Using reputable sources is key, sites like the ones I mentioned are usually verified and abide by laws or group policies, so they are usually safe places to look. You can also rarely go wrong going to a real estate agency.

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Is it better to apply with more or less people for a shared house?

Honestly, this one really depends on the landlord. Some landlords are fine with sharehouses, while others like to keep their rentals as family homes. Legally you do need to put anyone who is over the age of 18 on the lease. So ultimately you will have to disclose the number of people who are living in the house if they are all adults. Your acceptance as a group will be dependent on how the landlord feels about home-sharing.

To what extent does rental history affect applications? Is there a tenancy database or tenant 'blacklist'?

There is definitely important information about your rental history that we can access such as your past rental ledgers, breach notices or eviction notices. However, the most information we receive about your past tenancy is from your current and past agents who have managed your portfolio. 

The agents will normally disclose to us how you were as a tenant and all information regarding your tenancy. We always send the agent a privacy statement that you have signed upon applying for our rental that allows us to access this information – it is not free to anyone who calls your agent. 

‍Have you got any questions you'd like to ask a property manager?‍

Ask us on our socials, Facebook or Instagram, and over the next few months, we'll be interviewing Cassidy on future rental topics to help tenants secure good homes!

Image credits: Unsplash - Annie Spratt, AllGo and Prateek Katyal.

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