7 Foolproof Tips On How To Secure A Rental Property
Just the other day my friend was telling me how stressed she felt about finding a place to live. She had 30 days to find a new property after their landlord decided to sell.
I remember this fear of needing to find a place, or risk couch surfing or living out of a car. As it turns out, I’ve been quite lucky with rental properties, and have been accepted for most places I’ve applied for. Here are the tips I always follow.
Write A Cover Letter
Adding a personal touch really does make a world of difference. Simply write a paragraph or two introducing yourself, your finances, hobbies and plans for the future. I also added that I’m not really into partying, am a non-smoker, and prefer a quiet night watching Netflix or gaming to a party. Include information about your circumstances, why this property is best for you and how you’ll care for it. Have anyone else on the lease also include an introduction paragraph — pets, too (with a cute picture).
Adding a little personal touch to let a real estate and landlord really know you goes a long way — after all, you’ll be caring for their home.
Get A Parent To Go Guarantor
This basically means your parent (or anyone) will be on the lease with you — not as a tenant, but as a financial back up. Real estate agents love this because if you somehow royally stuff up, there’s still someone else to financially pick up the pieces. So if your guarantor is someone with a good career, income and reputation, you’ll be a lot more likely to be accepted into a place — especially if you have no prior rental history.
Obviously, try not to royally stuff up and genuinely be able to afford rent, as well as unexpected expenses. Bills come first.
Offer To Pay A Little Extra
If you can afford it, offering a little above the asking price will make your application much more appealing. An agent’s job is to get the best price for a landlord — so offering even $5 extra will make your application stand above the crowd. A fair price to secure the property you love.
First Impressions Matter
When you go to an open house, make sure you dress well, speak well, and introduce yourself. Try to dress a little fancier than you normally would. Just add a blazer to any outfit and hello professional. And if you plan on handing in your application in person, the same rules apply: be respectable.
To apply for a property, you’ll need to provide supporting documents so make sure you have all this information clearly and concisely organised. This includes identification, bank accounts, pay slips, Centrelink payments, cover letters, letters of employment, and references. I like to add a resume so they know I’ve had constant work over the years. If you’re on Centrelink, add that as well (screen shots of past payments are fine).
If you’re handing in a paper application and don’t have easy printer access, you can also ask for an email address to send your supporting evidence digitally.
Always edit your writing. Make sure your spelling, grammar and syntax is professional and on-point. Having a well-written application with soul makes a world of difference.
Don’t Be Pressured
Yes, finding a place is stressful but don’t let that urgency suck you into a property you don’t like or can’t afford. Expect the unexpected, and financially prepare for it. If you haven’t made up your mind, don’t let an agent pressure you. After all, you’ll be stuck there for a long time, so you need to make sure it’s the right choice for you.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, either. Recently, I was approved for a property but a cupboard above the kitchen stove was falling apart with mould. You can ask if something will be fixed, and if not, you might want to reconsider your options. This is not “being a precious millennial”, this is being smart and making informed decisions.
(Lead image: Broad City/HBO)