How to apply for a rental property
If you’ve found a rental property that ticks all of the boxes, the next step is to schedule an inspection and complete a rental application form.
How you fill out the application form – as well as any supporting documents you choose to include – will significantly impact your chance of securing the property. Remember, renting a property can be a competitive process, especially in inner-city locations.
In this guide, we’ll equip you with all the information and insight you need to craft a winning rental application. Let’s jump right into it.
What documents do you need for a rental application?
The goal of the rental application form is to, firstly, demonstrate to the rental provider that you have the means to pay rent on time and for the duration of the agreement, and secondly, that you are a responsible, trustworthy individual that will care for the property.
To do this, you will need to include most or all of the following documentation alongside your rental application form.
You will need to prove that you are who you say you are – and not some kind of mastermind criminal on the run! Include a scanned copy of photo identification with your application. This might be your driver’s license or passport.
You might also be asked to include your most recent gas, electricity, phone bill, or rates notice.
If you have a rental history, compile this into a single document. Add in details such as the year, length of time you lived in the property, whether the property was managed by an agency (if so, include the name of the agency) or private landlord, and the reason you left.
Recent payslips or other proof of income
Most rental applications will ask you to include recent payslips or another document that vouches for your income. Think about it from the perspective of the rental provider – they need assurance that whoever lives in their property can afford the weekly rent.
Include payslips and even a bank statement or two. This will show proof of employment, and ease any worries a landlord may have about missed or late payments.
It’s not just your ability to pay rent that’s assessed during the rental application process. Your character, too, will be scrutinised.
One of the best ways to showcase your respectful and responsible personality is to include two or three references, ideally from past landlords. If you are a first-time renter or missed out on securing a reference from your rental provider, ask your employer or another professional in your life.
First impressions count. Make sure your application stands out from the rest by including a cover letter.
Let the property manager or owner know why you want to rent this particular property (perhaps it’s in your desired school zone or close to your place of work). Detail your experience with renting and outline why you should be considered.
How to get your rental application approved
As we mentioned, the rental application process is competitive. How can you get your rental application approved? Here are three must-know tips.
Tip 1: Treat the inspection like a job interview
Don’t show up to a rental inspection 20 minutes late in your pyjamas. Instead, treat it like a job interview. Arrive on time, dress to impress, and treat the property, other rental applicants, and the agent or owner with respect.
Don’t be shy, either. Introduce yourself to whoever is showing you around. Ask insightful questions. And make sure to hand over your contact information – or a completed rental application – before you leave.
Tip 2: Follow up
If you have submitted an application but haven’t heard anything back in 48 hours, follow up with the agent via phone or email. Tell them that you are extremely interested in renting the property and ask if they need any further information or documentation from you. Remember to keep things positive.
Tip 3: Build a relationship with the agent or property manager
Real estate agents and property managers have a number of rentals on their books. They want to make sure that the tenants living in these properties are reliable and pleasant to deal with. So, show them that’s exactly the kind of person you are.
That way, if your application doesn’t work out for whatever reason, you already have one foot in the door with other properties managed by that particular agent.
Advice for first-time renters
If you are a first-time renter, you won’t have a rental history or rental references to include in your application. Don’t fret. Every tenant was a first-time renter at some point, and there are a few things you can do to improve your application.
Remember that the agent, property manager, or owner is primarily concerned with your ability to pay rent and look after the property. References from previous landlords can help prove this, but there are other ways.
Of course, you can still include payslips and other documents that prove your income is sufficient and reliable. What’s more, you can add character references from your employer – or a teacher or university tutor if you are a student – to your application.
If this is your first time living out of home, you can also choose to have your parents or guardians co-sign the lease. This gives your landlord an added layer of security.
Find the property of your dreams today
Now that you know how to nail your rental application, it’s time to start house hunting.
Here at RentEzy, finding a suitable property is fast and fuss-free. Search by location and select your must-have criteria, whether that’s a pet-friendly rental, a rental managed by a private landlord, or a furnished rental.