How Can I Make My Rental Application Stand Out?

15th Mar 2018

7 Tips for Having Your Rental Application Approved!


Today the rental market is very competitive so, you want to ensure that you and your rental application stand out from the crowd. Your rental application is like a resume and is one of the things that a property manager and landlord uses to determine whether you are the best tenant for the property.

When searching for the perfect rental property, the hunt for the right home that ticks all of the boxes can be daunting – The last thing you want is not to be approved for the perfect home to another applicant. 

It is essential that when preparing your application that you meet the tenant selection criteria and provide all the required documentation as requested on the application form.

To help you secure the property that you are searching for and to assist with keeping the process simple, we have put together seven tips for preparing and submitting your rental application.

1. Preparing your rental application 

Get organised before searching & provide all relevant documents Being organised in advance will make it easy to submit applications for multiple properties.  You’ll need the following documents for your rental application: 

  • Ensure you have your finances in order and have enough money set aside for the bond and the required upfront rent.
  • Reference letters
  • Pet references (if applicable) 
  • Proof of income (recent pay slips, bank statements, tax return, or if commencing a new position your employment agreement) 
  • Letter of employment (if you’re starting a new job) 
  • Valid ID (passport, citizenship certificate, driver’s license, Medicare card, or utility bills)
  • Deposit/rental ledger (summary of your rental payment history)
  • Completed agency rental application form The documents you provide must equal 100 points or more. The application form that you are completing will tell you which items are worth points and which things are compulsory. Make sure you have copies of the required documents ready to submit.


2. Have all applicants complete an application form 

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. All applicants over the age of 18 are required to complete an application form. The reason is that the property manager, and landlord will need to consider every single person who has applied to rent the property and determine if they’re suitable tenants. This will increase your chances of getting to the top of the application 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. Provide reason why you think this is the right property for you and most importantly why you are the best tenant for the property. If you’re going to live with other people make sure you explain what the connection between you is. Talk honestly about your rental/credit history, mention if you have pets and even provide a photo of your pets.


4. Prove you can pay the rent 

It’s imperative that you show the landlord or property manager that you can afford to pay the rent. You can do this by writing about your rental history and showing your current pay slips and bank statements. If you earn a lot of money, have a good track record of paying rent on time, and if you have a healthy savings account, you’ll improve your chances of securing the property. 


5. Get your references ready 

You should have at least three references. These could be a real estate agent, property manager, landlord, co-worker, employer, a former neighbour, TAFE/university tutor or accountant. With excellent recommendations from your references, you can prove to the 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. Make a list of references to put on your application form and once you have gained their approval list them. Ensure that they are aware that they will be contacted and give them time to be prepared.


6. Secure a guarantor 

If you are planning on moving out of home and renting for the first time or you don’t have an excellent rental/credit history, you can get a financial guarantor. A guarantor is someone who’ll sign the lease and be held accountable if you can’t pay your rent or cause damage the property. They can add credibility to your rental application as their financial stability is taken into account. If you are moving out of home for the first time, you can use your parents as a guarantor. If you have poor credit rating, you can get a family member or a friend with sufficient income and good references to be your guarantor. Your guarantor is required to submit the same application documents and provide the 100 points of identification documents.


7. Address problems and offer solutions 

If you know your tenancy history may not be as perfect as you would like and anticipate that there may be problems with your application, don’t just sit back and hope that the property manager and landlord don’t notice or get told when completing the reference checks. Be proactive and include an explanation to accompany your application explaining these circumstances, whether it’s a glitch on your credit record or a recent gap in employment or defaults on your previous tenancy ledger. If you don’t feel your finances will measure up to the minimum requirements, then you can always consider having a guarantor as this shows that you are willing to fix problems and take responsibility.


Submitting your application 

You can save yourself and the property manager time by submitting your application online either via 1form on realestate.com.au or email directly to the real estate. Your application will then be emailed to the property manager. You need to keep digital copies of your supporting documents. You can send your application before inspecting the property, however, make a note that you haven’t inspected the property and arrange a time, as you will be required to do so. If you are unable to inspect the property, you can sign a sight unseen clause (this is very common for tenants relocating from interstate. In this instance, you may be required to provide further documentation on income. Alternatively, you can hand your application in person, as this gives another chance to make a good impression. To increase your chances of getting approved, treat your inspections like a job interview, first impressions count! 

If you don’t hear from the agent or property manager 2-3 days after you’ve submitted your application then follow up with them. They may be waiting on further documentation or if you have sent it via email there is the possibility that it has gone to their spam folder so it mays to be proactive and check in. 

Happy house hunting!

Author: Renee Parry