“Is it possible to apply for a rental property without viewing it in person? I work full time and can’t make viewings during the day”.

We asked Rental Department Manager at Nelson Alexander Real Estate, Heidi Sparks, whether it was possible to apply for a rental without viewing it first.

“Most agencies have the same policy, which is that they will not approve an application if you have not physically inspected the property,” Heidi said.

“It is too risky to allow someone to rent a property sight unseen as too much could go wrong.”

If attending a weekday inspection is impossible, Heidi said it’s always worth asking whether there’ll be a Saturday open you can make.

“Otherwise, if you have a family member or friend who can view it on your behalf, they will allow this,” she said.

If you have difficulty attending inspections

  • Do your research on the area. Thoroughly inspect all photos you can find of the property online, look closely at Google Street View, neighbourhood and backyard to make sure the property will suit you.
  • Ask a friend, colleague or family member to inspect the property on your behalf.

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  • Consider booking accommodation for a night before the inspections in the city you’re moving to. You can arrange the inspections for the day you arrive, decide on the one you like and send in your application.
  • Talk to the agent about any issues that have come up at the property to make sure you’re not surprised by existing problems.

If you decide to proceed with an application, you may need to sign a disclaimer that says you’ve applied for the premises without inspecting it and that you’ll inspect the premises as is.

If you’re offered the lease term, and you arrive to find issues with the property, one of two things could happen:

  • They’ll be issues that the owner has to fix by law; or
  • They’re issues you’ll have to live with because you couldn’t attend the inspection and signed a disclaimer.

There are many reasons a real estate agent will impose a rule on viewing properties before you apply. This is why.

How much do you know about your tenancy history? 

When they screen you in the application process, your landlord or agent is looking for two key things: your ability to pay the rent and your track record in looking after a property. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to simplify and speed up this process. Use these tips to help secure your dream home.

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Heidi Sparks
Heidi Sparks
Rental Department Manager at Nelson Alexander Real Estate | [email protected]

Heidi Sparks is the Department Manager for Nelson Alexander in Essendon, Victoria. An award-winning professional with more than 20 years of experience in residential real estate, Heidi is known for her down-to-earth approach, honesty and integrity. Heidi’s commitment to her work has seen her recognised by the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV), winning consecutive Property Manager of the Year awards in both 2018 and 2019. She has previously worked with Nicholas Lynch in Mornington as a Senior Property Manager, with IGR Property Group, Metro Real Estate and with Brad Teal Real Estate.