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Tips for securing the rental property of your dreams

By George Hadgelias

With an ever-increasing number of Australians renting, applying for a rental property can sometimes feel like competing in the Hunger Games.

But just as Katniss Everdeen found a way to subvert the system, there’s also some tried and tested methods for landing a dream rental.

oanne Pearson, a new client consultant from McGrath in St Kilda, explains how prospective tenants can get a competitive edge

Be prepared and thorough

The number one insider tip to securing a rental is to be prepared.

Pearson says this used to be about carefully filling out application paperwork, but nowadays this process has been streamlined for tenants and property managers with 1form.

1form is an online application system which prospective tenants use when applying for rental properties listed on property websites like Use it wisely, Pearson says.

“Go to 1form and get everything ready to go. Have all the information required, that’s the correct property information and agent information, payslips and have a bio ready and a snapshot of yourself,” she says.

Since early April, have launched enhancements to 1form to capture essential information about tenants. These changes, which include a new tenant bio section and the question ‘tell us why you’re suited to the property’, allow you to give more depth into your characteristics and why you want the property you are applying for.

There is also a new section to allow tenants to provide details of any pets they have including their name, photo, breed and description.

Ensure the application is complete, Pearson says. “If, as the agent, you’ve got to keep chasing for information, it’s too hard. “We look at the applications and pick the best ones, and this means they are completed and done properly,” she says.

Sloppiness is often fatal to an application – property managers are most importantly looking for people who will pay rent on time, people who will not damage the property and who are easy to deal with if they need access to the property for repairs and routine inspections.

Book an inspection

Inspecting property in person should be on the top of any would-be tenants’ to-do list, Pearson says. Many people mistakenly assume it’s “first past the post”.

“You may think handing in your application early means you’ll land the rental, but no one can move in until they’ve seen the property,” she explains. So, get booking.

Show courtesy

When inspecting a property, be kind and courteous, Pearson advises.

“Impressions from the inspections are so important. Make sure you meet and greet the leasing agent or the property manager – it’s like a job interview,” she says.

“If a prospective tenant is demanding and rude on a first impression, the property manager will become concerned with how they will be as a tenant going forward,” Pearson says.

Don’t assume money talks

Offering cash above and beyond what’s been advertised isn’t necessarily a good idea and may act as a red flag to property managers, Pearson says.

“Some applicants are willing to offer some additional rent. While we don’t encourage that, we’ve had that happen, which is an indication in the change of the market,” she says.

Others offer to pay two to six months’ rent in advance. “I generally say don’t do that. There’s often a reason why they offer that extra money. Maybe they’ve been turned down elsewhere? Or they aren’t an ideal tenant?”

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