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How can I beat the New Year rush into a rental property?

January 12, 2022

Renters could face fewer options when choosing their next home, with vacancies at their lowest levels in years and expected to fall further as international borders reopen. That said, with some sensible strategies, it will still be possible to secure a suitable rental home in 2022. 

With the national vacancy rate at 1.7% in December – down nearly a third from 2.4% in December 2020 – the general trend is for a decline in the new year as January’s typically strong demand puts the squeeze on available supply[i]. According to Domain, Hobart is the most stretched market at a historic low of 0.3%, while Adelaide is not much better at 0.4%. Perth is only marginally higher at 0.6%.

Apart from allowing unvaccinated tennis players into the country, our borders will reopen soon to other overseas visitors, including students who will flood into rental markets encircling our major universities. This demand will put a further squeeze on rental property supply. For many of us, the early months of a year are also the time for switching digs due to personal or work circumstances, and demand for rentals close to the ocean is generally very robust. This situation has been exacerbated this year by many Australians still trying to exit the cities to move to coastal locations, whether Mandurah in Western Australia or southern NSW’s sublime Shoalhaven region. 

With demand beginning to outstrip supply, it is therefore essential that renters go onto the front foot to put themselves at the head of the tenancy pack to secure a suitable home for 2022 and beyond. To this end, a starting point is to register for rental property alerts with a local Raine & Horne office to help you pinch a lead on the competition. 

Then finding a suitable rental property will involve a combination of persistence, punctuality, and presentation. There’s simply no escaping that you must wear out some shoe leather and inspect as many rental homes as possible.

Once you settle on a property to inspect, be sure to treat a meeting with a property manager like a job interview. Smart casual attire including shoes rather than shorts and thongs probably won’t hurt your rental chances either. 

For younger renters, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to consider taking mum and dad along to inspections. It might sound cheesy for some, but it often works. Even getting parents to countersign a lease agreement can help make them jointly responsible for the lease. 

Also, don’t forget your rental application must be accurate if you want to secure a suitable rental property. Precise applications are even more critical with international borders opening and overseas students returning. As part of the application, be sure to include references from employers, university lecturers, schoolteachers, a family doctor, or solicitor. References from past property managers or landlords are also essential. Also, you’ll require other paperwork, such as a copy of your motor vehicle licence, passport, and bank statements.

Finally, if you’re offered a suitable rental property in a tighter market, the best strategy is to take it immediately, or you could miss out.

If you want to find out more about a rental market or about how to secure a suitable rental home, contact a local Raine & Horne Property Manager today.

[i] https://www.domain.com.au/news/a-landlords-market-big-drop-in-rentals-signals-tough-times-for-tenants-2-1112525/