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How to write a cover letter for a rental application

By George Hadgelias

In many of parts of Australia, there’s stiff competition for great rental properties. The cover letter that goes with the application is a way for prospective tenants to explain why they should get the rental above other applicants.

Essentially, a cover letter is a summary of all the key information and data provided in the application, showing why someone would be a good tenant – similar to the cover letter that accompanies an application for a job.

If an online portal like 1form is used, there may not be a specific spot for a cover letter, but the advice for writing a good one applies equally to how tenants answer the all-important question: “Why is this property right for you?”.

What should a cover letter include?

Sofia Ligeros, leasing consultant with ACT-based Independent Property Group, said a cover letter should be addressed to the person who is handling the tenancy and include:

  • Information about the applicant
  • A bit about their hobbies
  • Working background and other personal information
  • Tenants should also explain why they’re moving and why they like the property, making sure to include the actual address of the property.

“You also need to show you have an understanding of your obligations as a tenant and why you believe you would make a great fit for their home,’ she said.

Ms Ligeros said photographs can be a great personal touch, too, helping the property manager put a face to a name.

Michelle Wilde, the principal of Queensland-based Stella Property, uses 1form to handle applications, so doesn’t require cover letters. However, she said applications need to make it clear the would-be tenant can pay on time, are responsible and will look after the property. The biggest red flag for Ms Wilde is if a tenant has had an issue or dispute with a previous property manager.

Why is this property right for you?

Many application forms ask tenants to answer a simple question: Why is this property right for you? Whether it’s answered directly in a field online, as it is with 1form, or through a cover letter, the vital response is vital.

Trish Mewett, a Jim’s Real Estate franchisor, said it’s a way for applicants to speak openly and honestly about why they want the property.

She said prospective tenants should explain how the property suits their life and speak with passion. “Home is where the heart is, so speak from the heart, but don’t overdo it so that it sounds unbelievable, as this may put managing agents off your application.”

It’s also smart to add some additional background details, such as your work, education and hobbies, to help flesh out the full picture of who an applicant is.

Example of a cover letter for a rental

Here’s an example of a good cover letter.

(Applicant current address)

(City, postcode)

(Phone number)

(Date)

(Agent name)

(Agent address)

(City, postcode)

Subject; Application cover letter for (address of property)

Dear (name of property manager or landlord)

My name is (applicant name) and along with (applicant name), we would like to formally apply for the rental property at (address) as advertised at (URL).

We previously lived at (address) for (amount of time) and paid (amount of weekly) rent. Prior to that, from (start date) to (end date), we lived at (address). Both were rental properties and we have included our previous property managers (or landlords) as references in our attached application.

We both work (full-time/part-time) and earn a combined (amount) weekly, so we feel we are more than able to cover the (amount) weekly rent and bond. We have both been employed for (time period) and consider our employment status as secure.

We are particularly interested in this property because of the nearby amenities, proximity to public transport and easy commute to both of our workplaces.

We are quiet and respectful of others’ privacy and have always had good relationships with our previous landlords and they’re happy to speak to that.

Although we enjoy socialising, we like our home to be a peaceful place.

Along with my cover letter, we have included the rental application and all relevant identification documents.

We’re looking for a stable tenancy and hope you will consider our application favourably. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,

(Applicant signature)

(Applicant name, typed)

(Applicant phone number)

(Applicant email address)

CLICK HERE for more information

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