Want to apply for a rental property without viewing it first? A real estate agent may ask you to attend an inspection before you submit your rental application – and these restrictions may well be a blessing in disguise.

Here are a few tips to help you navigate the property inspection part of the rental process in Australia:

There are many reasons a real estate agent will impose a restriction on viewing properties before you send in an application. Photo: iStock/monkeybusinessimages.

Can you trust the photos on the rental listing?

Once you’ve been in a few rental properties, you’ll understand what it’s like to show up and find the property looked nothing like the listing online. Sometimes the images appear promising, but a few clever camera angles can make all the difference to how a room looks in real life.

Viewing the property in person gives you a chance to check the property is clean, in good condition and meets the standards you want in your next home.

Use the opportunity to show yourself as a good tenant

Attending a property viewing gives the agent an opportunity to meet you in person. Check out this article for some extra tips to impress a prospective landlord or property manager during the property inspection. Attending the inspection goes a long way to showing the property manager that you’re not just covering your bases by applying for multiple properties at a time.

Be wary of property scams

In today’s digitally-dependent landscape, rental scams are a fact of life. But the thought of online scammers should not scare you from applying for your new home. Signing an application for a home that you haven’t seen in person is risky. If you’re looking for a property in your current city, always make an effort to see the place first and meet the property owner or agent before you hand over any money.

If you run into problems

Moving interstate

If you’re moving to another state or out of your local area, consider asking someone you know to check out the place or run a quick background check on the landlord or real estate company.

Talk to the agent

Some real estate agents will be flexible with their policy on inspecting rentals prior to applying for the property and will often accommodate you at different hours if you can’t make a scheduled viewing. Others have policies in place that require you to attend the viewing before submitting your application – they’re not trying to make the process more difficult – it’s likely to be company policy and not negotiable.

Be open with the agent about your interest in the property. Having good communication from the outset can go a long way to their interest in helping you find a good time to view the property, particularly if there has been little interest in your local market.

As a final resort…

It’s not always practical or convenient to organise a property viewing. Sometimes you don’t have the flexibility while working full-time, or simply don’t live locally. It’s not always easy to organise travel to go and view 1-2 properties at a time, especially given most viewings only last 10 minutes.

If you’re unable to view the rental property yourself because you’re working or you don’t live locally, you should ask a friend, colleague or family member to inspect the property for you. Worst comes the worst, 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.

Find your next property on rent.com.au and send an enquiry to the property manager to arrange a suitable time for a viewing.

How have you navigated property viewings in the past? Let us know your best tips in the Comments!


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  1. I am just after a two bedroom apartment, one bathroom, balcony, air conditioning, not too many stairs, in the Westmead area to rent.

  2. I am having the opposite problem. Agents are not allowing inspections unless you have completed the online application prior & each property has a separate application form, even if the listing agent is the same in each instance. I want to look at four properties listed by the same property manager & they are insisting that I complete four separate online applications. Not a huge deal, however this will mean that my references (of which they will accept no less than four) will receive four separate emails asking them to complete the same questionnaire four separate times which they must complete or the applications they miss will not be approved to attend the viewing.

    At the moment they hold all the power so they can make whatever insane requests they like & if you want to be approved for a rental you have to suck it up & jump through each & every one of their flaming hoops.