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What documents do you need for a rental application?

By Sherie Eakin

In some parts of Australia right now, there’s fierce competition for rental properties – which makes providing the most up-to-date and accurate documents in an application crucial.

But what documents are needed for a rental application? And why are they so important?

What documents do you need for a rental application?

Kasey McDonald head of leasing at property management agency :Different said tenancy applications are “pretty uniform across the board” in Australia, whether physical paperwork or an online platform like’s 1form or Ignite is used.

The documents typically required include the following:

  • Cover letter
  • Rental history
  • Payslips
  • Photo ID
  • References; personal and professional
  • Bank statements
  • Copies of previous household bills
  • Photos of pets, if applicable

Why are documents required for a rental application?

Ms McDonald said property owners, or their property manager if they use one, need certainty that a prospective tenant is a good fit and low risk.

When recommending someone, property managers need to be able to provide the owner with confirmation of who the would-be tenant is, where they’ve been living and that they have the means to meet rental payments.

“Separately, property managers also need to provide their insurer with the tenancy application if they ever need to make a claim,” she said.

The documentation also allows the owner or property manager to perform the necessary database checks.

Should I declare issues from previous tenancies?

Ms McDonald said it’s important to flag any negative listings on tenancy databases with a landlord or agent upfront, to ensure the best chance for success.

“If there are reasons why you’ve been blacklisted or additional context you want the owner to take into consideration, we always encourage you to be transparent.

“If you don’t disclose it, we’ll be made aware of it regardless and it could mean your application is automatically declined by the landlord,” she said.

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