How To Apply For A Rental Property
Finding an ideal rental property can be challenging, wherever you may be. In Australia, for instance, the market is particularly tough because of too much demand and the surging rental costs, negatively impacting the number of rental properties available.
However, according to theguardian.com, rental prices rose to 9.4%, whereas average wage hikes grew only 2.2% in 2021. The same holds for tenants seeking rentals in the United States and the United Kingdom, where owners may impose more stringent screening rules and demand longer lease terms to avoid financial issues.
Because of fierce competition, it may be challenging to determine when to start applying for rentals. Given the availability issues, few people are lucky enough to find what they're looking for. If you're one of them, make your application count and follow these steps on how to apply for a rental property.
1. Get your documents ready
Rental property owners require would-be tenants to submit different requirements to prove they're good renters. For this, you need to ask a few things from your former landlord, employer and the bank before applying for a rental property.
Typically, you'll be asked for identification, proof of income, tenant history documents and references alongside the application form. Bank statements, pay slips and character references are the most common requirements. If you’ve previously rented, attaching a rental ledger showing all the payments you’ve made can help show that you’re a reliable tenant who’s unlikely to default on monthly payments.
2. Inspect the property
After choosing a few of the best choices for rental properties, it's time to conduct an actual visit. It's ideal to conduct a rental property inspection with the landlord's presence so both parties know the place's actual condition before the transfer and what it should look like after the tenants move out.
Walk through the entire property to check whether some sections need repairs and inform the landlord. Depending on local laws, the cost of repairing minor damages may be deducted from your rental deposit if the owner chooses to fix them.
Be polite and dress properly and arrive on time when viewing rental properties available for inspections. It's also helpful to create a list of relevant questions before the scheduled visit to ask the right questions. Some territories keep a list of tenants in their database, so inform the property owner if you're on the list for additional reference.
3. Fill in the application form
You can submit the rental application form online by personally handing the paper while viewing the property. If taking the latter route, have your documents ready and bring them along while considering the place so you can submit these together with the form. Note that your consent will be sought in contacting your reference persons.
Make sure to fill in all the details to put you ahead of other applicants. According to real estate agents interviewed by the Australian real estate platform domain.com, up to 30% of rental applicants submit incomplete details, hurting their chances of getting approved.
The agent or landlord will contact you about your application results. If it's approved, you must sign the tenancy agreement. If unsuccessful, it's crucial to ask the agent why so you'll know how to move forward.
4. Pay the apartment application fees or deposit
Applicants must pay certain fees when applying for a rental property. These payments are spent for the screening process, including background and credit checks. You may be asked for other costs on top of these expenses.
Property managers may also require applicants to deposit a certain amount to hold the property for a certain period. Depending on specific circumstances, you may not get the money back. For instance, in Victoria, if you fail to inform the owner about your decision after the holding period, you won't be refunded.
In most Australian territories, landlords are required to provide the tenancy agreement before demanding deposit money or other fees. They must provide an official receipt. Some owners may ask would-be tenants to pay for a deposit before handing over the apartment keys for inspection and viewing and return the amount after these have been replaced.
Take some cash with you when visiting rental properties available for viewing. Additionally, you may ask your landlord about the other payments associated with your rental application.
A rental bond may also be required for tenants applying for a rental property, the price of which varies from place to place. In Queensland, for instance, applicants for rental properties for AUD$700 per week or less may be asked to pay four weeks' worth of rent. If you're short on cash, you may request assistance from the Australian government, particularly the Rental Tenancies Authority. Your rental costs and status will determine how much rental assistance you get.
When looking for a new place, knowing how and when to start applying for a rental property can be frazzling. The steps outlined above can be a valuable guide on how to apply for a rental property. Lastly, if your application has received a positive response, read and understand the lease document or residential rental agreement before signing it.