How can I secure a rental property before university starts?

JANUARY 17, 2019

Summer is almost in the rear-view mirror, and it is time to get back to reality for university students. If you are yet to secure your accommodation for the upcoming semester, you are not alone, but it is time to get moving. There’s no escaping the fact you’ll have to wear out some shoe leather and inspect as many rental homes as you can.

Rental availability will vary from state to state, however the annual February flood of students rushing to find a rental will put the squeeze on vacancy rates in university towns and cities across the country. With increased demand and fewer properties available by the day, there is no time to waste. But with the use of the strategies mentioned below, along with some quality last-minute cramming, it is still possible to put a roof over your head before the first class of 2019.

Start by swapping your beach clothes for something more presentable. Treat an open house like a job interview. If you are unable to arrange a private viewing, be sure to arrive at the open house on time and well prepared. In areas of high demand and low supply, it is advisable to attend the first open home scheduled for each property, as it may be your only chance to view it, and hopefully secure the home. You might not score any cool points with your friends with this next suggestion but taking your parents along could also boost your chances, especially if mum or dad are willing and able to offer a rental guarantee.

You should take a valid passport and/or a current motor vehicle licence to all viewings, in case your application is accepted. Recent bank statements, references from previous property managers and landlords, university lecturers, school teachers, and employers will all strengthen an application.

If you choose to nominate a referee to vouch for you, it is a good idea to remind them to keep their phone handy, just in case the property manager calls. And be ready to pounce if you are offered the rental property. There are no extensions for this assignment, so it is imperative you can pay the bond and sign the lease before the agent or owner change their mind.