Applying for a rental is a stressful process. With 2% vacancy rates in Sydney and plenty of people at every inspection, it’s easy to get caught up in the worry that you’ll never be approved for that perfect house with the quiet street and gorgeous backyard. Here are 5 ways to shoot straight through the fast lane and be the tenant that every landlord wants in their property, inspired by Yahoo! Personal Finance.
Know Your Limit
I understand the dilemma as I too spend hours looking at beautiful houses, with entertaining areas and renovated bathrooms, wishing that they could be my home. The reality is, of course, that I don’t have a huge income and applying for those houses is only going to leave me disappointed or, worse, completely broke. Landlords want to know that you can afford your rental and for the duration of the time of your contract. You don’t want to be spending more than 30% of your income on rent. Paying less than 30% is ideal.
Show You’re Stable
The Yahoo! article suggests that landlords will be checking out your credit report. This has yet to happen to me in Sydney, though I wouldn’t say it was outside of the realm of possibility. If there are financial blips in your past, be upfront. Don’t wait for them to ferret it out. Show them the circumstances of the problem, and how your situation has changed.
The rental market is tight, so your landlord will want to know that you can cover your rent even if your situation changes. Show them a bank balance that proves you can provide for yourself should you lose your job or need to take some time off work. If you really need an edge or have a rental history that needs some bolstering, then it’s a good suggestion to offer to pay a month of rent in advance if your finances can stretch to it.
Wear nice clothes. Don’t show up in what you’re planning on using to paint the apartment, wear something you would put on to a casual business lunch or a family-do. Real estate agents are looking for people they think will pay on time and look after the house. Giving an impression of being conscientious and serious about presenting yourself well will go a long way in the eyes of a prospective agent and landlord.
Treat It Like An Interview
Be early. If you’re sitting in the car for a couple of minutes before the real estate agent arrives, what’s the harm? It’s good to know that you’ll be keen and punctual about paying the rent. Understand that you are being asked to prove yourself- that you have a reasonably stable source of income, that you are interested in renting a nice home and treating it as well as you would your own. Raise any issues that you have thought of, and ask questions- this is as much about finding the house that works for you as proving that you are eligible.
If you have an adorable pet, then be honest about it. The same is true of an extra renter, that plans to be bunking down in the loungeroom behind a curtain. Not everything needs to be discussed. Personally, I’ve never felt the need to mention the partner that spends a lot of time there or my lengthy complaining whenever I need to vacuum. Just be frank about the things that will impact on the landlord as, inevitably, they come to their attention.