Photo: iStock/gradyreese.

Apartment hunting can be daunting, especially in today’s competitive market where rental properties are in high demand and short supply.

It’s not uncommon for landlords to receive multiple applications for one property, making it difficult for renters to stand out and secure the rental they want.

However, with some preparation and a few smart strategies, you can increase your chances of finding the perfect place to call home. In this article, we’ll share seven proactive ways to beat the competition for the home you want.

1. Stand out from the pack

Stand out from the competition by adding a cover letter to your rental application. This small detail can greatly impact your chances of getting the apartment you want.

Use your cover letter to showcase your personality and highlight why you’re the best tenant for the property.

Pro tip: Use to create a Renter Resume and Pet Resume to showcase your qualifications and pet-friendly status.

Make a great first impression by being professional, courteous, and friendly during your initial contact with the landlord/property manager. Remember, this is your chance to show that you’re not only financially stable but also easy to work with.

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2. Be prepared with your rental bond (and rent in advance)

Don’t miss out on your dream rental because of a lack of funds. Be prepared with your rental bond (and rent in advance) when applying for a home.

In today’s competitive rental market, having the funds readily available can make all the difference in securing the property of your dreams.

A rental bond is typically one month’s rent that the landlord or property manager holds as a security deposit. Some landlords may also require rent to be paid before moving in.

Finding the funds for a bond and rent in advance can be challenging, especially with rising rents. However, there are options available to help cover these costs.

RentBond is a bond finance option that can help cover the cost of your rental bond and rent in advance. With RentBond, you can pay off the loan within 21 days at no cost, after which the loan reverts to a traditional bond loan.

This means that you have the flexibility to pay off the loan quickly without incurring any additional fees, making it a smart solution for renters who are short on savings but still want to secure their dream rental.

3. Anticipate – and then go in organised

Anticipating the information and documents required for a rental application is crucial to standing out in a competitive market. It shows that you are a responsible and organised individual who understands the process and is prepared to provide the necessary information to be considered for the rental property.

When applying for a rental, it’s key to make your application comprehensive. This means ensuring that all the required information is provided, accurate, and up-to-date. The way you submit your application can also make a difference. A well-organised and complete application gives your landlord or property manager a good sense of who you are and what type of tenant you will be.

Make sure to include all required information in your application, such as your personal details, employment information, income and financial information, and references. Providing references from previous landlords or employers can also be beneficial as they can attest to your past rental history and ability to pay rent on time.

Submit your application as soon as possible. In a competitive market, landlords and property managers may receive multiple applications for one property and make a decision quickly. Submitting your application as soon as possible increases your chances of being considered for the property.

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4. Show off your excellent tenancy history with RentCheck

Boost your chances with a RentCheck. Show off your excellent tenancy history and stand out from the crowd.

You can easily add a RentCheck to your rental application by attaching it to your Renter Resume on or by downloading it and saving it as an attachment to your existing rental application. By including a RentCheck, you’re providing landlords and property managers with additional assurance that you’re a reliable tenant who takes their responsibilities seriously.

If you have any known tenancy history issues, this is your opportunity to use your RentCheck to explain what happened and how you plan to avoid any problems in the future. This way, you can provide context and show that you’ve learned from your past experiences. For example, if you had a dispute with a previous landlord, use RentCheck to give your side of the story and explain how you plan to avoid similar issues in the future.

By including a RentCheck on your application, you’re showing that you’re taking your responsibilities seriously, and you’re more likely to be considered for the property.

5. Be ready to move fast when you find a good place

When it comes to finding a rental property, timing is everything. Rental properties in Australia are in high demand and short supply, so it’s important to be prepared to move fast when you find a place you like. This means being proactive and making time to view properties and meet with landlords as soon as possible.

Waiting until the weekend to view a property may not be the best idea, as it may be off the market by the time you can organise a viewing. This is particularly true in large cities where rental properties are highly sought after. So, view properties mid-week, if possible, to increase your chances of securing a property before someone else does.

It’s also important to be prepared to move quickly when submitting your application and paying the bond and rent in advance. Be ready to pay the bond and rent in advance, and have all the required documents ready for submission to increase your chances of being accepted.

6. Show them the money, honey.

Make an offer they can’t refuse. In a competitive market, offering to pay above the asking price can be a winning strategy, especially if you have good financial backing.

Don’t be afraid to negotiate the rent; consider offering extra rent upfront to seal the deal.

7. Take the lead with a longer lease

Taking the lead with a longer lease can be a smart move in a competitive rental market. Landlords prefer tenants willing to commit to a longer lease, as it means less turnover and less time spent on finding new tenants, maintenance and repairs, background checks, and no rent coming in the door.

When applying for a rental, offering to sign a 12-month or longer lease instead of a 6-month lease demonstrates your commitment and reliability as a tenant. This can make you more desirable to landlords and increase your chances of securing the rental. Additionally, it’s one of the simplest ways to get a highly-desired rental without spending more money out of pocket.

It’s important to note that while offering a longer lease can increase your chances of getting the rental, it’s not a guarantee, and you should still ensure that you are qualified and meet the landlord’s requirements. Also, be sure that the rental is the right fit for you and that you’re comfortable committing to a longer lease before proceeding.

RENTERS: What was your top tip for securing a rental? Post your comment below. is Australia's largest company dedicated to renters and is owned and operated by ASX-listed Limited (RNT:ASX). For over 15 years, has exclusively focused on making renters' lives easier by making it easier to find a property, secure it, move in and pay rent.


  1. What if you are a home owner moving out and haven’t rented previously.
    It seems real estate agencies prefer applicants with a previous rental history.
    Any tips for the home owner renter?

  2. Personal references ie. Character references from standing members in your life, including employer refs, Sporting, schools and any local community affiliates you may have. Make sure you are prepared to divulge the true reasons on becoming a renter, in a professional format.

  3. Be prepared to move in immediately if the rental is “available now” or on the first day it becomes available. This might mean you have extra costs as you balance the final rent payments from your old place with the first payments on your new place but in my experience you’re likely to be considered more favourably. Landlords don’t like their properties sitting idle for days/weeks on end earning them no rent, especially when they’re still paying off their mortgage on the place.