Application forms are your ‘resume’ for property, so we asked our landlords what they are looking for:
- Someone who will be take care of their property:
Did you have consistently positive general inspections? Did you leave your last rental property in better condition than when you first moved in? Get this in writing from past landlord/agents or show photos or communication that support your property care
- Someone who is accountable:
Character references should be from someone who knows you well or/and someone who you work for. Getting character references can demonstrate that people think highly of you and are willing to put the time and effort to put a letter together.
- Someone who is financially stable:
You need to show you can pay the rent. Showing income is not relevant without showing expenditure, as you may earn enough to pay the rent, but it may be budgeted to other things. Help by adding a recent bank statement that shows both income and expenditure, or a savings account with ongoing regular savings deposits.
- Someone who is prompt with payments:
Most landlords have tight mortgages and when you don’t pay, they can default and incur penalties. Providing security to them by giving past rental ledgers, or bank statements with ongoing regular loan repayments can show consistency and promote financial security in choosing you.
- Someone who is long term:
Investing is usually a long-term plan, so having a person offer to stay long term in the home may be a huge positive. If you let the agent know your plans, then it can help the landlord make decisions by considering the long-term potential.
Putting your best foot forward in the agent’s opinion:
- A cover letter & photo:
Adds a personal touch about who you are, your lifestyle and why you are interested in the property. It’s also a great opportunity to address any discrepancies in the application form, ie why a single person is looking for a 5 br house. Don’t sell a story and only provide honest information…there seem to be a lot of garden lovers, and very old dogs who are lazy and don’t move haha. Adding a photo allows us to connect better with you and puts a face to the person they met at the inspection. Remember a picture can say a thousand words… so a Friday night party shot may not be ideal…
- Supporting documents:
Are your opportunity to shine and demonstrate that you have the landlord’s desired points listed above. Ensure all this information is submitted in full with your application, or it can be harder to process. Ensure the application is completed correctly and completely.
If it’s your first-time renting, and you want to use a guarantor, then bring them along to the inspection and have your guarantor provide a Guarantor Letter to support your application. This must include their ID, contact details, relationship to you and proof off current address. It should also state that they will take financial responsibility and acceptance for meeting lease obligations under the signed agreement for your tenancy. Your application must state that you give permission for your guarantor to be contacted about all tenancy matters related to payments and lease conditions if the agent should need.
If you have pet, put together a pet resume! Supply references from previous landlord or trainers/vets about your pets behaviour. Show how your pet will live in the property, ie inside or outside or in enclosed pet house. Introduce your pet to the landlord and provide short a video or photos of where your pet currently resides to prove it is not impacting. Offer to sign a written agreement that you will pay for any and all damages your pet may cause including smell, hair and yard impact.
Timing is critical! Make sure you submit your application as quickly as possible. Have everything ready and bring it to the inspection or send it by the next business day. Sometimes it the first in that makes the best impressions.
If you list a referee in your application, make sure you talk to them beforehand, so they are not taken by surprise when they receive the call. Make sure the referee agrees and is available to give a positive reference. A referee that is non-contactable can delay the approval process.
- Follow up:
Show you are keen with a quick follow up call or drop a courteous email to thank the agent for the inspection and let them know you are very interested in the property. An agent has due diligence to all applications received and this takes time. Constant calls over the day can undo your hard work, as the agent will not have time to focus on the approval process making it longer for all parties.
If you are unsuccessful, ask the agent for some quick and honest feedback to better your chances next time. It may be that your application was excellent, but for a specific reason another was accepted. The agent can take this opportunity to offer you a different property or tell you of one coming up!