Are you ready to rent?

Whether you’re a tenant or a landlord, you should always do your homework before signing a rental agreement.

Before you apply for a residential tenancy, consider and prepare information you will probably be required to provide to your landlord or property manager.

Couple thinking of renting a home, are you ready to rent?
Photo: iStock/Ridofranz
  1. Does the property meet your needs? Ask yourself:

  • Is this property suitably maintained and secure?
  • What type of agreement will best suit me?
  • Can I pay the rent and still have money to live?
  • Is the property close to shops, schools or public transport?
  1. Identification

The landlord or property manager is likely to ask you for formal identification, such as a driver’s licence, a passport and a bank card. Consider bringing along current and previous address details, and then name of your previous landlord or property manager. Your occupation, employer, period of employment and contact person (and the same for your previous 2 jobs) will be a valuable addition.

  1. Evidence of your capacity to pay the rent

If you’re new to renting, make sure you have evidence that you are reliable and can pay the rent. This could be in the form of your employment contract, payslips and character references. You may be asked to provide a guarantor who will be responsible to pay the rent if you default.

  1. The application checklist

Collect all your rental-related information before you visit your first viewing. If you find a property you like, you will have to fill out an application form. Read through and complete the rental application form. List all people who will be occupying the property and advise of any pets that will live on the premises. Include all details of your rental referees and include character references if required. Ensure you have enough funds to pay the rental bond and the first month’s rent. Generally, you will be asked to pay one month’s rent in advance as well as a bond. Sign your completed application form, including all required attachments and send it back to the landlord or property manager.

  1. Are you prepared to commit?

It’s important to shop around and not to make a rash decision about your future home. There can be significant upfront costs, so think very carefully about what you can actually afford. When you find a property which looks good to you, you may have to decide and act upon it quickly. Ask the landlord or property manager what you need to do to secure the property and on what terms you are entitled to receive your deposit back if you are not successful in your application.

  1. Courtesy helps

Keep your appointments and show up on time. No-shows are a major source of frustration for landlords and property managers. They will be more inclined to help you if you respect their time.

  1. Don’t get discouraged!

Finding a great place that’s ideal for you means a bit of running around, but it is well worth the effort. Keep your chin up and keep searching 🙂