rental without viewing
Photo: iStock/jhorrocks.

“How can I apply for a rental without viewing it? Is that possible? I work full time and can’t make viewings during the day” – Catherine

Do you want to apply for a rental without viewing it first?

Catherine, we asked Senior Property Manager at Nicholas Lynch Rentals, Heidi Sparks whether it was possible to apply for a rental without viewing it first.

“Unfortunately, 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.

Heidi suggests that if you cannot make it during the week, find out whether they are holding a Saturday open you could make.

“If not, if you have a family member or friend who can view it on your behalf, they will allow this,” she said.

You might also like:
– Your rental ledger – Why you should be asking for a copy
– Applications: How long before I am approved for a property?
– RentBond: Am I eligible to apply and be approved for a bond loan?

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.

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.

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? 

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


Looking for a rental property? Go no further.


heidi sparks
Heidi Sparks
Senior Property Manager at | | + posts

Heidi, a Licensed Estate Agent has over fifteen years experience in the Real Estate industry encompassing all aspects of property management including both residential and commercial property management.


  1. This article is overly simplistic. If the real estate has a “policy” it means they have decided within their organisation to implement a procedure. Policies are not legislation and unless there is legislation which i don’t know about, a real estate agency cannot refuse to process your application if you don’t do an inspection. It seems like real estates have implemented these policies because they can’t be bothered dealing with tenants who complain about issues with their new rental property because they had no idea what the place was like before signing a lease. It seems like more and more real estate agencies have jumped on the band wagon and now its policy everywhere and agents and owners take it as if its law.

    There are many instances, including my own, where inspections were not possible – i have no family or friends who were able or who were willing to do inspections on my behalf and i work full time, i do not have a drivers licence and getting to multiple house inspections on a weekend was a nightmare – especially when i took the effort to go to an inspection and i then i was not approved. Thus the time spent going to inspections was wasted.

    I’m not advocating that you go out and apply for houses willy nilly without inspecting them because this article is correct in one aspect when they say too much can go wrong. However, if agencies do nothing to provide people with alternatives to inspections then this makes obtaining a lease and a home both prohibitive and discriminatory on many levels.

    I suggest if people have difficulties attending inspections that they do some thorough research on the area, thoroughly inspect the online photos, look closely at google images of the street and the neighbourhood/backyard etc to make absolutely sure that the premises will suit your needs. Talk to the agent and ask about previous tenants and the owners and any issues which have ever come up. Then during the application stage, there should be a disclaimer that you can sign which says that you have applied for the premises without inspecting it and you will accept the premises as is.

    If upon being accepted as the preferred applicant of the premises and you arrive to find there are issues with the property there are two options – either they are issues which the owner/real estate are required by LAW to fix or they are issues which you are going to have to live with because you couldn’t make an inspection. You signed a disclaimer so suck it up. There has to be some give and take from both parties. Adhering to this policy of “no acceptance if no inspection” is wrong.

  2. I rented a place unseen….Did it all on the computer, turned out fine…..Each to their own, no hassles.
    The thing with both parties, common sense…

  3. I’ve spent hundreds of dollars driving miles and miles to inspect properties a long way from where I am, only to not make the inspection time, due to unforseen traffic delays, or not be approved. Rents are getting more expensive, forcing me further and further away from family and friends, and I’m on a pension and cannot afford to lose the money it takes to view properties far away. It’s a lot more difficult for tenants in this day and age than it is for landlords and real estates!

  4. Hi I’m wondering the rule on inspecting a property.
    I have opted to send someone on my behalf as i work full time and cannot attend the inspection time on a Friday afternoon during business hours.
    After speaking with the real estate they said that I can send someone on my behalf but would still not submit my application to the owner??
    Is this allowed for them to do? What is the point of sending someone on your behalf if they still won’t put through the application??

    • Hi Kristy, thanks for your message.
      It’s not uncommon to get a mixed response from property managers when you tell them someone else will be inspecting on your behalf. The concern for property managers is that a stranger’s opinion on a property can be very different to the expectations of the future tenant. We’d recommend that you put in writing to the property manager that you accept the condition of the property based on an inspection carried out by someone else.

      Many applications will ask you a mandatory question ‘Have you inspected this property’ when you apply and you can state that an associate has inspected on your behalf. If you would like to know the legislation around your specific situation with this property manager, it would be a good idea to check with your state tenancy body. Here’s a link to an article with contact details for all states:

      Hope this helps!

      • Inspecting a property is very difficult when working full time to pay for a rental property. Should be able to apply for a rental property without inspection and be seriously considered. I hate how realestate companies also don’t need to give reasons for refusal of an application. How will I learn how to improve my chances of getting a rental property if no comments are provided. It is a terrible system.

  5. This is all well and good but what about relocating from another state – I physically can’t get to rental viewings & need to have somewhere to be able to relocate to! Understand why agents want renters to inspect but there are many situations where this isn’t possible. I haven’t been able to secure anyone to view on my behalf yet & am having to consider paying someone.

  6. It’s just so hard to get accepted for a rental property. I’ve submitted tons of applications after I inspected the property. I don’t know what is wrong with my application, because I don’t get an explanation as to why it was unsuccessful. I’m at a loss of frustration and I don’t know what to do. I will be a first time renter.