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.
While you may find allot of online listings have an Open Home advertised – we still recommend you take the time to contact the Agent direct to express your interest and confirm that you will be attending that viewing. If there is a time advertised, formally register, so the Agent can see your name and know you are coming (and remember you as the lovely person they already chatted with!)
If there isn't a viewing advertised – definitely make the time to email, or even call and 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 to see if it suits your needs. Ask any questions that you may have prior to booking an inspection - this may also save wasting your time on a viewing if the home simply isn't 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 Request a Face Time / Zoom Viewing. 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 a couple of others waiting in line after you. This means that if you miss out this viewing – there may not necessarily be another one.
So if you are REALLY keen – BE AVAILABLE! And if you really cannot be there, and are not able to arrange a Zoom Meeting/Facetime Viewing with the Agent – then 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/facetime with you while they’re at the property so they can talk you through it and see if it does fit your needs.
Some Agents will now be doing "virtual inspections" where they upload a video walk-through of the home. If this isn't an option for the specific property you are interested in - see above; try request a Zoom/Facetime inspection instead.
But what if I’m moving from interstate?
Thanks to COVID-19 Agents are now most often able to offer a Virtual walk through, Zoom or Facetime viewing for you. You still may be required so sign a waiver in your lease (That you haven't been able to physically view the property); but at least will have had a better idea than simply going by photos.
You can also send someone on your behalf if you have someone local who can do this for you. Perhaps you can Zoom/Facetime iwth them!
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? I'm 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 can 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. Don't be afraid to strike up a conversation with the Agent, and don't be afraid to ask questions!
Be prepared with your supporting documents for the application.
Almost all Tenancy Applications are now done online. But to go with your application, you will still need to supply some supporting documents. While these are different for every agency – WE ask for the following documents:
- Proof of Identification – (Preferably photo Id, such as Drivers License, Passport, Id Card, etc)
- Personal Information 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. You CAN supply a bank statement showing regular income deposits if a Pay Slip isn't an option.
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 have trouble navigating the application website - call the agent! Don't let a little bit of technology come between you and your potential new home.
Answer your phone or Return calls and emails 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; a with email - please check it regularly! It’s a good idea to save the Agency’s number or email in your phone so you will know when they’re contacting you. If you cannot answer immediately, make a point of returning their call or email as soon as physically possible afterwards. In the instance of waiting for a viewing time – again, there may be a more people waiting for a spot, 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 allot 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/Instagram 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.