Renting a home - A guide for tenants
When searching for the perfect property amongst a sea of tenants you need to make sure you stand out from the crowd.
Agents can become inundated with enquiries and interest and so its always best to make sure you plan ahead and have all your ducks lined up to put your best foot forward to the agent.
Below is a really handy guide to help you plan your journey in the rental market and ensure success when applying for properties.
Before the open:
- Once you have found the property you think fits the bill, make sure you do a drive by of the property before viewing it so you know what to expect, the neighbourhood and locale.
- Touch base with the agent prior to viewing to confirm if there is any opportunity for a private viewing prior to publicly listed opens - this can give you more time to process the unit without a large crowd there and ask questions one on one.
- If you can't make it privately, be sure to book in for the open home and let the agent know your details and interest and that you will be attending.
- Prepare all your supporting documents and online application (check with the agent which site they use) so once you've viewed the home you can apply straight away. A good application will not need the agent to chase you for anything. A cover letter is also great to help summarise your situation for the agent. Always include 100 points of ID, Evidence of income and past tenancy history as a minimum.
During the open:
- When you attend the viewing ask the agent first if you can take photos. It's so handy to bring a measuring tape to ensure your furniture fits.
- Check for mould, damp, and any signs of moisture in the home
- Ask the agent how long the previous tenant resided; this gives you a fair indication of the properties suitability.
- Ensure your car will fit in the car space
- Ask the agent what inclusions come with the property e.g dryer, any furniture or appliances, window coverings/blinds
- Confirm if the landlord is looking for a long term tenant or a minimum term and also check the availability this should be on the listing advertisement also.
- Before you leave let the agent know you're interested and then send a follow up email to confirm with them your interest.
After the open:
- Send your application straight away! Don't delay, agents like the path of least resistance so the easier you make it for them the better.
- Follow up with the agent first thing the morning after.
- If you're successful make sure you get all the paperwork and payments for the property (2 weeks rent in advance and Bond) paid promptly as per the agents request. You should be given a renter guide to follow prior to signing your lease that helps outline your obligations and the agents. If you haven't been given this you can request it or head to the Fair Trading website for a free download.
- Once you have signed the lease and collected your keys it's important to complete your condition report of the home straight away (within 7days) we recommend doing this immediately before moving furniture into the home while it's still empty. Feel free to take additional photos to support your report - be as detailed as you can. They are there to protect you and the landlord.
- Ensure you organise utility connections promptly