Photo: iStock/gradyreese.

Been reading about increasing house prices? As some states struggle with housing affordability, renting is becoming a more appealing option. But in a competitive market, renting can also be tough. Use these hot strategies to master your next application.

Prepare your references

Is a landlord or property manager considering your application? The final step in their decision process will be checking references.

When you add references to your rental application or your Renter Resume, ensure you add all relevant information

As a courtesy, it’s good practice to inform your references ahead of time. A landlord is unlikely to ring them back more than once or twice if they don’t answer, so consider adding a few extra references as a contingency.

Make sure you have a plan for your rental bond and rent in advance

A common pain point we come across is that renters sometimes miss out on a property because they didn’t have the money on hand. If you’re applying for property, competitive market or not, ensure you have a way to pay your rental bond and rent in advance.

Renting isn’t a cheap process, so it’s important that you have enough funds to cover your rental bond (or you meet the eligibility criteria for RentBond), as well as funds to cover any rent in advance.

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Be ready to move quickly when you find a good listing

In bigger capital cities like Sydney and Melbourne where the market is tighter, rental properties are in high demand and shorter supply. That in mind, it’s important that you’re prepared to jump on a property you like.

We’re all time poor, and making rental viewings mid-week when you work a full-time job isn’t easy. But if you wait until the weekend to view that cute apartment, you may find it’s off the market by the time you’re able to organise a viewing.

If finding the perfect place is important to you, make time in your schedule to view it and meet with the landlord.

Use, tools and products to your advantage is the best website to help you find your next rental property. You can use to set up your Renter Resume renting profile and fill in your tenancy information. Don’t forget to customise your search and browse while you’re on the go.

Are you set on moving into a 2 bedroom home with an en suite and balcony? Shortlist your search and receive email alerts when new properties hit the market. In a competitive market, the time a property is available can be as short as 1-2 days, so take advantage of technology to get ahead.

How does your tenancy/credit history look? 

If you have any credit history issues, try to get them taken care of ahead of time. Have you been listed on a tenancy database? If you know there’s a mark against your record, see if you can rectify the issue by paying the outstanding amount or putting a payment plan in place.

Having a letter of explanation handy is always advisable.

Be ready for questions

While a prospective landlord may appear to be interviewing you on the day, you’re within your right to interview them! Come ready with questions about things that are important to you.

Ask about the parking situation, the laundry and included / not included amenities. What are the tenants in the surrounding area like?

A landlord may ask you questions about your financial situation, your employment, where you lived before and why you are leaving. Be sure to have reasonable answers prepared.

RENTERS: What was your top tip for securing a rental? We’d love to hear it. Post your comment below. For advice specific to tenancy laws in your state or territory, visit our Important Numbers page. 

You might also like:
– RentBond – The smart way to pay your rental bond

– Writing a rent reduction letter
– Rental inspection checklist – Handy hacks

Find your next rental property today on and get great tips, advice and services. Like the small details? Between Suburb Reviews, WalkScore®, NBN status, commute times and pet-friendliness, we've got everything you need to find your perfect rental.