You’ve scoured the listings on the internet, clicked through to any in your budget or chosen suburb, and pored over the photos.

But this is just the beginning of the process if you are looking for a home or apartment to rent.

You drive to the inspection with high hopes: could this be your new home? Only to arrive and find that a dozen other people are also keen – there’s fierce competition for desirable properties!

Tips to Get Your Rental Application Approved

Get rental ready, and give yourself the best chance of getting your rental application approved, with these top tips.

At the Inspection

  • Dress well. No, it’s not a fashion parade – but if you turn up looking your scruffiest, or as if you’re the sort to host a heavy metal party every night, you’re not going to give a good impression to the agent responsible for managing the property.
  • Take off your shoes. By removing your shoes before entering, you are showing that you respect the property of others. It’s a hint of how you will treat the property should it be your home.
  • Bring your parents. It may not seem fair when you are launching yourself into the world of adult responsibility, but it creates a good impression if you bring the folks along if you are young or perhaps it’s your first rental application.
  • Avoid peak times. If possible, try to inspect during a quieter period (eg not school holidays).
  • Make yourself known to the agent. Introduce yourself, shake their hand, maybe ask a question or two. Be pleasant and polite so you make a good impression.

Application Time

  • Follow the instructions carefully. You’d be surprised how many people muck this up! Give yourself the best chance of success by making sure you’ve filled the form out correctly, and have attached all the relevant documents.
  • Get references. If you’ve rented before, make sure you have a reference from a previous landlord specifically commenting on how you looked after the property and always paid your rent on time.
  • Never rented before? A character reference from a member of the clergy, your boss, or a respected member of the community can be used instead.
  • Write a cover letter. Write a cover letter (one page maximum) to introduce yourself – your job, why you like the property, and why you’d make a great tenant!
  • Offer to fix things that need attention. Mention that you will be happy to prune the trees, replace the kitchen fly screen, or paint the bedroom, should you be the successful applicant.

As a last resort, if you are particularly keen on a property, you could offer to pay more (if you are willing to do so) – it might just be the key to getting that rental application approved!