Are you finding it impossible to secure a rental property right now? It can be incredibly disheartening to apply for dozens of properties only to receive rejection after rejection.

This is difficult for many Australian families as the housing crisis worsens. Rising interest rates, record-low vacancies, and a lack of affordable and public housing have all contributed to this perfect storm.

Experts say it has never been harder to find a home. Competition for every property can be incredibly intense, with real estate agents on the Gold Coast reporting as many as 100 people attending inspections.

To help you navigate the rental market and find the right property, here are a few ways to improve your application and increase your chances of finding a home. 

Go in prepared.

Submitting incomplete applications is a common mistake that can hurt your chances of finding the right rental property when you need it most.

Real estate agents understand the pressure and urgency of the rental market and the importance of providing complete and accurate applications.

Many applicants rush to submit incomplete forms to secure multiple properties. But this can lead to serious mistakes that could prove fatal in securing your ideal rental.

Our recommendation: Ensure your paperwork is up-to-date, include all necessary supporting documents, and ensure you have complete and accurate contact information.

A complete application is the best way to make a positive impression and increase your chances of approval.

Avoid submitting an incomplete application, as even minor omissions can mean the difference between success and failure.

Sell yourself.

When attending open homes, making a good first impression is essential. Remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression, so being presentable and polite is key.

It’s common for agents and owners to do an online search of potential tenants, so make sure your social media profiles are free of anything you wouldn’t want them to see.

You may not get a chance to interact with the leasing agent. Consider adding a short cover letter to your application. It’s a great way to add a personal touch and stand out.

Remember that landlords usually rely on the judgement of the property manager. Being friendly and approachable can go a long way in making a good impression.

Although the owner makes the final decision, they often consider the agent’s recommendation. If you’re quick and courteous, your application is more likely to get a recommendation from the agent, increasing your chances of success.

What to do.

Property managers and owners are ultimately looking for three things in a tenant: your ability to pay rent, a history of paying rent on time, and someone who will take care of the property.

A good reference can make all the difference, so be honest about your financial situation, employment status, and rental history. Landlords appreciate tenants who are transparent and truthful.

It’s also important to know that what you do for work is not the most critical factor. Having a high-paying job isn’t the only thing that matters.

Your ability to provide strong references is vital in securing a property. If your previous property manager can give you a reference, it can go a long way in building trust with the landlord. However, keep in mind that references don’t carry much weight unless they directly relate to your tenancy.

Ultimately, honesty and transparency are key when securing a rental property. Being truthful about your financial situation, rental history and providing relevant references increases your chances of being chosen as a tenant.

What not to do.

Ideally, you want to avoid having a bad rental history and poor references when applying for a rental property, as agents will likely avoid applicants with these issues. They also have a keen eye for dishonest applications or people trying to deceive them.

If you’re in rental arrears without a justifiable explanation, that may be a problem. Similarly, if your previous property manager refuses to provide a rental reference, it’s a significant red flag that could hurt your chances of being selected as a tenant.

Ultimately, agents want to select trustworthy tenants who will take care of the property and pay rent on time. By avoiding these mistakes and being honest about your rental history, you increase your chances of being selected as a tenant.

Pets and families.

If you have pets or children, you may worry that it will be difficult to find a rental property. But while it can make for a more challenging search, it’s not impossible.

In fact, some landlords are more likely to accept families, and many love pets. Applying with either can make finding a property that suits your needs harder, but don’t give up hope.

Be honest and upfront about your situation. Some landlords may not want pets or children, but many are open. When applying for a property, be sure to include photos and a cover letter highlighting your family and pets, as this can help you stand out.

It’s also important to know that not all landlords will be a good match for you. Some may prefer older tenants, while others may be more interested in giving young families a chance. 

Remember, honesty is always the best policy. If you try to hide the fact that you have pets or children and it’s discovered later, it can cause problems and potentially lead to you losing the property. So, be upfront about your situation and keep searching until you find a property that meets your needs.