Applying for rental properties can be extremely frustrating, especially after a few knockbacks. As a property manager, people often ask me 'what am I doing wrong?' My answer? Probably nothing.
In some areas, demand so greatly outstrips supply that property managers often have a very hard time choosing between suitable applicants.
However, there are a few traps that a lot of people fall into. Here are some tips for rental success:
1. Fill out your application neatly and thoroughly. This means answering all the questions - not just the ones you happen to know off the top of your head. We need to know your employer details as well as your landlord's so we can check up on your history. We have an obligation to your property owner to do this, and can't accept your application until we confirm. If, for whatever reason, you don't have this information, a little note explaining why helps.
2. Show us you want the property. Follow up - without being too aggressive. Calling up to confirm that your application has been received and asking when we will have an answer is fine. You can also call on or around the decision date to see if we have an answer.
3. Be friendly and not too annoying. Okay, the definition of "annoying" can be vague. But if you sound like you're going to make our lives painful, we will avoid you. Common courtesy and a friendly smile never go astray!
4. Don't be offended if your agent asks for proof of deposit or asks you into their office to sign a lease. We've been burned before by people saying they love a place only to disappear into the ether.
5. Give us any documents you have to support your application. If you have letters of commendation from previous rentals or a letter stating your income from your employer, don't be shy. These are exactly the kinds of things any property manager looks for. A copy of a bank statement with a healthy bank balance is also a good item to include, especially if you are new to the country or between work.
6. Act quickly. This is probably the most important tip of all. If you like a place, get your application in as soon as possible. If the property is vacant, we are in a real hurry to get someone in. Often, it's the person who gets their application in first with an early move-in date who wins the property.
7. If you are truly in love with a property and are desperate to live there at all costs, consider offering to pay more than the advertised rental, giving the agent extra rent up front or moving in earlier than you might have planned. But only offer to pay what you can truly afford, because the agent will hold you to it.
*The author is a property manager with Antonas Realty.
(AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy)