Renting property in Australia can be quite an experience. In the first place, the competition could be tough. People are always on the lookout for property to rent. Second, there may be a fewer places available for rent as demand continues to outpace supply. But if you have found a place that fills most of your requirements especially your budget, then it’s time to shift focus and apply for tenancy.
Make a Good Impression
In ways, applying for tenancy in Australia is like applying for a job. In a market where supply is tight, you could find yourself competing with others who are interested in the same property.
Thus the first step is to make a good impression on the property agent, Property Manager or landlord.
The agent and landlord or Property Manager will decide to whom exclusive possession of the property would be awarded to. Similar to a recruiter or a Hiring Manager, you must create a strong first impression:
- Dress professionally as if you were going to a job interview.
- Be punctual; you should be at the property 15 minutes before the scheduled time.
- Prepare a list of questions to ask the landlord.
- Introduce yourself properly and ask questions in a polite manner.
- Bring all the required documents with you. Make sure all proof of identification are updated and neatly organized.
You can be assured the landlord will verify all of your submitted documents. If you are in a tenancy database, it would be in your best interest to share your story with the landlord.
The tenancy database presents a list of tenants who have had problems with their previous landlords.
Inspect the Property
Before finalizing your decision to apply for tenancy, you should always inspect the property. This can be arranged with the real estate agent or the landlord. It is also possible for the agent to schedule an Open House where the property can be viewed by interested lessees.
Here are a few tips to consider when inspecting the property:
Ask the agent or the landlord if they can provide you a copy of the tenant application form.
Bring someone who is knowledgeable in home repairs. This person could be an architect, interior designer, general contractor or engineer.
Take a few minutes after the inspection to begin preliminary discussions with the landlord or agent.
Be ready with your list of questions.
As a ready reference, you can use ApplicationCheck.com.au.
Applying for Tenancy
If you have decided on applying for tenancy, you will need to fill up the tenant application form as provided by the agent or landlord. You will also be required to submit some of the documents listed below:
- Proof of Identification such as driver’s license, passport, Medicare card, health care card or birth certificate. Make sure the driver’s license or passport are valid and the birth certificate is a certified true copy.
- Names and contact information of references such as your former landlord.
- Proof of income or employment certification.
- Rent payment receipts or statements of account
- Bank details or authenticated bank statement.
For the landlord to contact your references, prepare and sign a privacy consent form. It will boost your case to talk to your references, advise them to expect a call from a landlord and the purpose of the communication.
There are only 4 types of fees that a landlord can ask from a prospective tenant:
- Option Fee – More like goodwill money; covers the period the landlord is verifying your documents and application form.
- Rental Deposit – Covers 4 weeks rent.
- Advanced Rent – Covers 2 weeks rent.
- Key Deposit – Withheld with your ID until such time the key to the property is turned over to you.
In the event your application is declined by the landlord or you decide to discontinue your pursuit of the property, the Option Fee should be turned over to you in full and in cash within 7 days.
If your application has been approved by the landlord, you will be invited to a meeting to formalize the tenancy agreement. You have to be ready to pay the Rental Deposit, Advanced Rent and Key Deposit.
Ask the landlord if the Option Fee can be applied to any of the required deposits. This will make the process move faster.
Finalize the move- in date with your landlord. It will determine the start date of your tenancy agreement.
If the application for tenancy was not successful, take the time to talk to the landlord. Get his or her thoughts on why you were declined. This information may help you get approved for your next tenancy application.