Submitted a rental property application and started the waiting process? You might be wondering how long it takes to process your request and when you’ll get an answer.
Understanding the rental application process
Unless you’ve worked in property management or self-managed a property yourself, you may not know what goes on ‘behind the scenes’ after you submit a rental application.
But typically, most applications will take between 48 – 72 hours for a decision. In some instances, however, it may take longer.
Hot tip: If you haven’t heard back from the agent after 48 hours, it’s a good idea to follow up by phone or email. When you do, remind them about the property address. Many agents manage hundreds of properties and can have multiple vacancies advertised at the same time.
Why does application approval take so long?
It might seem like a long time, but there are multiple checks taking place, which mean your application can take 48 – 72 hours to process and be approved. These can include, but are not limited to:
- Checking relevant tenancy default databases, so they’re aware of any past discrepancies in rental payments or prior property damage;
- Double-checking that you fully completed your application, including all the attachments required for the property;
- Assessing whether you can afford the property (based on your annual income and the asking rent);
- Verifying previous living arrangements (even if you were living with family);
- Verifying your employment status (if you’re employed) or proof of regular payments such as Centrelink;
- Checking the next of kin or case of emergency details. This step is key for agents in the event your tenancy ends, and you don’t provide a forwarding address for your mail; or
- Checking your references. If your application takes longer than 48 hours, it could be because the agent is having trouble contacting people you listed as a reference.
Once these checks have taken place, an agent will submit all relevant, shortlisted applications to an owner with their suggestions on the best tenant for the property. The final decision of who is successful and not successful is always the landlord’s decision.
The key here is to be patient!
How are rental applications accepted?
When your application is accepted, it’s common to receive a note from the agent that says something along the lines of “Congratulations Kate. The lessor/landlord has accepted your application on the following terms. Our agency policy now requires…”
Here, the agent wants to ensure you have received the relevant tenancy documents and lease agreement. They will ask you to pay the rental bond and rent in advance as soon as possible. The agent may invite you to a sign-up meeting where they’ll take you through the lease signing process.
What happens if my application is not accepted?
If you have missed out on a rental application, there is no legal obligation for the agent to give a reason.
If the agency denies your application, it’s understandable to want to know the reason why you were not a suitable tenant for the property.
The property manager may be willing to explain the reasons your application was not successful, such as:
- Your income did not meet the affordability criterion;
- Another applicant was successful; or
- The terms you offered were not suitable for the lessor/landlord.
Approach the application process with the right attitude
Searching, enquiring and applying for properties can be a stressful experience for many renters. As you move through the process, the best thing you can do is to stay calm and make sure you’re polite and friendly to the agent looking after the property.
Approaching the rental experience with the right attitude can make all the difference and have a direct impact on the success of your rental application.
Paying the rental bond and rent in advance
The rental process will move fairly quickly from here. Your agent will ask you to sign the lease (either over email or in person at a sign-up meeting). They will also ask you to pay the rental bond, which is an amount usually equivalent to four weeks’ rent. You will also need to pay rent in advance (two weeks’ rent) to secure the property. In many cases, the agency will require this money within 24 to 48 hours after your application is accepted.
If you need money to cover your rental bond, rent in advance or other moving costs, RentBond can help. RentBond is a convenient way to pay your rental bond. Been approved for RentBond? We’ll pay your loan either directly to your agent or your nominated bank account. Find out more about RentBond here.