Tips for Tenants!
In the crazy rental market that we are experiencing today, it’s every man for himself in the race to secure a suitable property for you and your family. While there are waaaaay more people looking to rent a home, than there are actual homes available – what can you do to make yourself the most attractive tenants to landlords? How can you stand out from the crowd?
Contact the Agent by Phone.
While you may find alot of online listings have an Open Home advertised – we still recommend you take the time to call the Agent direct to express your interest and confirm that you will be attending that viewing. If there isnt one advertised – definitely make the call and talk to the Agent to set up a time.
Not only will you get to introduce yourself prior to the viewing – you can potentially qualify the property over the phone. Ask any questions that you may have during this call - this may also save wasting your time on a viewing if the home simply isnt suitable for you. Somethings you may want to ask include:
- Pets: If the advert says “Strictly No Pets” please don’t waste the agent’s time asking if maybe the owner would still consider your pet; they have put that comment in the ad for a reason. Your dog might think it’s a person, but ultimately, it has 4 legs and fur!
- Access: If you need a walk-in shower or a home without steps, etc – please state this when you enquire as some properties will have steps, etc that may not be shown in the advertising photos.
- Fencing: If you’re after a fully fenced yard that’s safe for children – ask the question. Different people have different views on what they deem as “adequate” with fencing so it’s best to clarify this before attending the house only to find it’s not a kid-proof fence after all.
Be available! Or send someone on your behalf.
In the busy market that we have at the moment, a spot at a viewing is a highly valuable matter and if you can’t make the viewing – there will likely be 5 others waiting in line after you. This means that if you miss out this viewing – there may not necessarilty be another one.
So if you are REALLY keen – BE AVAILABLE! And if you really cannot be there – send someone you trust to look on your behalf. Make sure they know what you’re looking for in a home, and what your absolute deal breakers are. Maybe get them to call you while they’re at the property so they can talk you through it and see if it does fit your needs.
But what if I’m moving from interstate?
You will still need to view the property in person sorry. We genuinely do appreciate that this can be tricky – the cost of moving is high enough – but an extra trip down in advance to view rental properties? Yikes. If you REALLY cannot afford an extra trip – perhaps you can get a friend, colleague or family member to look on your behalf (As discussed above) or even look into a Renters Advocate – this a professional service where you pay someone to inspect on your behalf and they will provide you with a written report on the home and if they believe it fits in your criteria.
Your rental viewing is kind of like a job interview – present yourself as such.
You wouldn’t show up to a job interview in your oldest (but comfiest!) track pants or without shoes on – so should you go to a rental viewing like that? Im not suggesting you dust off your finest suit or a couture dress for the viewing – but certainly make sure you are neat and tidy, well presented – and with shoes on! Ultimately you want to show the Agent that you are a neat & tidy person, and if you show you can look after yourself – an Agent will also assume that you can look after your home too.
Also similar to a job interview – while you are attending your viewing to assess if the home is the right fit for you, the Agent is also assessing if you are the right fit for the property and the owner’s requirements.
Be prepared with your supporting documents for the application.
At your viewing you will be handed a Tenancy Application to complete in order to apply to rent and live in the home. You will need to supply some supporting documents to go with the application. While these are different for every agency – WE ask for the following documents:
- Proof of Identification – (Preferably photo Id, such as Drivers Licence, Passport, Id Card, etc)
- Credit History Report – this can come from Tasmanians Collection Services or from www.mycreditfile.com.au this report shows us if you have any outstanding debts or garnishees on your wages (that might affect your ability to pay the rent). This document needs to be no older than 6 weeks prior to the current date.
- 2 x Recent Income Statements – Can be pay slips from your employer or Centrelink Statements – but must be the most recent ones.
If you can be prepared in advance and have these documents ready to go with your application, it will mean you can submit your forms almost immediately after the viewing. If you cannot physically deliver your application to the Agents office – email it to them directly as soon as you possibly can!
Answer your phone or Return calls promptly.
If you are keen to view a home, or are waiting to hear how your Tenancy Application has been approved – please answer your phone when we call. It’s a good idea to save the Agency’s number in your phonebook so you will know when they’re calling you. If you cannot answer immediately, make a point of returning their calls as soon as physically possible afterwards. In the instance of waiting for a viewing time – again, there will be a dozen more people waiting for a call, so if you take a few hours or days to get back to the agent – be prepared your spot in the viewing could possibly already be filled.
Be Honest – and Aware of your Social Media Channels.
We cannot stress enough how important it is to be honest in your application. Put simply – don’t tell lies – the agent WILL find out!
Especially with all the social media channels around these days – Agents have easy access to find out alot more about you than simply what you put on your Tenancy Application. It’s really important that you are aware of your pages and what you are posting; don’t fib about having a pet or being a smoker, etc, if there is clear photographic evidence on your facebook page.
Honestly is always the best policy when it comes to your Tenancy Application.
We hope these tips have helped you in your rental endeavours - and we wish you all the best in securing your new rental home! If you have any further questions or comments regarding the info above, please do not hesitate to contact our Property Management Specialists at Raine & Horne Hobart & Kingborough Rentals on 6231 0000 & 6229 6633.