How To Beat The Competition For A Rental Property

So, you live in a super hot rental market that sells houses in a day and rental properties barely stay on the market long enough to get advertised. You’re looking for a gorgeous two bedroom with outdoor space in a prime location, and you’d really like to pay under market value if possible. Oh, and you have a pooch so it has to be animal compatible.

Ah mate, you’re dreaming!

But honestly, with these factors and variables, finding a rental property that you actually like in a tough market is going to be difficult, and we won’t sugar coat it. You’re going to need to put in some serious time and effort and get extremely organised before you even start to look, and then the same applies for when you start to look. Persistence and perseverance will be your top attributes, and a positive attitude will be mandatory. Besides this, there’s also a few important things that you can do to beat the competition and get that rental property you’ve always wanted. Because we want to see you happy in your new home, we’re willing to share these top tips! Read on for more.

Get prepared

We’re sharing our most important tip right at the very beginning. The very best way to beat your competition is to be on top of things right from the get go. Being prepared with everything that you’ll need for the application, references, documents and other odds and ends will mean that you have an edge on the competition. Most renters will wait to fill out any paperwork or to gather what they need after they’ve seen a property, because they don’t know what exactly will be required or because they don’t know if they’ll even like the place.

But we’re letting you in a little secret: Most rental property managers will want basically the same documents and paperwork. This means that you can have a vague idea of what they’ll be looking for, gather it, and get your documents in before anyone else and without having to spend half a day scrambling for payslips and reference details. We’ve listed some of the main things you’ll want before you even start looking for properties.

  • Payslips: You’ll want the most recent one here showing what your take-home pay is.
  • Bank statements: Most recent should be fine.
  • Letter of employment or contract: A document showing that you are currently employed and what your status is (full time, part time, permanent, etc.)
  • Passport, visa or citizenship documents: Proof of ID and proof of right to be in the country.
  • References and contact details: You’ll want a reference from your previous landlord as well as potentially a character reference from a colleague or professional contact.
  • Proof of current address: This can be a utility bill or piece of official mail recently delivered with a postmark.
  • Guarantor Information: If you are relying on a guarantor you’ll want their information and most of the above handy, such as payslips and job information.  

Fill out application beforehand

If you have access to the rental application, have it printed and filled out before you view the property. While it might seem silly to fill it out before you’ve even seen it, this little bit of prep will mean that you can be the first application in and therefore first to be seen by the property manager. Many property managers will go with the first suitable application that meets all the requirements, so the closer you can be to the top of the stack of applications, the better.

Look in the right season

If you want to live near a university, play this to your advantage by looking at times when students are moving out, versus near the start of the school year when flats will be at capacity. In other areas, winter tends to slow down renters, where spring and summer heats up with competition.

Look the part

If you’re going to be meeting with the rental property management company or the landlord, it’s important that you clean up and look presentable. First impressions do count, and while this isn’t a job interview or a first date, it is important that the landlord sees you as a professional person who is reliable and pays rent on time, which can be conveyed with a professional look.

Have a great cover letter

Simply having a cover letter will boost you ahead of most competition, because many renters don’t think to send one in with their application. Here is a good example of one you can include. Keep it short, concise and well organised, and make sure to include any extras like owning a carpet steam cleaning machine to keep the carpets pristine, or having a long history of good tenancies.

Offer up rent in advance

If you can afford it, this can go a long way with getting you to the top of the application list. Losing money and not receiving rent on time is a huge issue for property managers, so seeing that you have the ability to pay rent in advance shows that you’re committed to the property, and gives the property manager ease of mind. Offering up to 3 months in advance can work wonders with your application.

Think about a longer lease

While this is certainly not for everyone, it is something to think about. Depending on where you live, you may be required to sign a year lease, or month to month. If you really love the place and know that you want to be in this area for longer, consider offering up the option of signing a longer lease. Property managers hate renter turnover and much prefer to have long-lasting and reliable tenants.

Don’t delay with any payments

Once you have secured a successful application, do not delay by any means with any payments due! If you fail to pay the deposit quickly, property managers may simply move on to the next application without giving you extra time. Make sure to get your payments in as quickly as possible to secure the property.

Following these tips will help you reach the top of the competition without having to spend too much time running around the city looking at properties. Remember to be organised and have everything ready to go for each property you view, and you’ll be in your dream rental property in no time!