"Score Your Dream Rental: 11 Tips for Navigating a Tight Market"
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As the rental market becomes increasingly competitive, securing your next rental property can be a daunting task. With low vacancies and high demand, it can be challenging to stand out from other applicants and secure the property you want. To help you navigate this difficult time, we've put together our top ten tips for securing a rental in a tight market.
1) Attend Inspections Early
Make sure you attend the first advertised inspection for a rental property. If you miss it, someone else might get accepted before you even get a chance to view it. If a property doesn't have inspection times listed, be proactive and contact the property manager to arrange a viewing as soon as possible.
2) Put Your Best Foot Forward
Be friendly, polite, and presentable. Even if you don't get the property, the property manager will keep you in mind for any future rentals. Remember that first impressions count and a great impression is more likely to lead to a great result.
3) Consider What the Landlord is Looking For
When viewing the property, take some time to talk to the property manager/leasing agent and let them know how your situation would suit the property. Show interest in what the landlord may be looking for in a tenant and highlight your suitability.
4) Account for Your Rental History
Tenant checks provide property managers with all the necessary information to determine your tenancy viability. If you have past breaches, it's important to be aware of these so that you can be transparent when you submit your application.
5) Be Upfront About Any Past Issues
If something has gone wrong in the past with a rental, such as an eviction or bond return issue, this may be listed on a tenancy database. Property managers and landlords may check these databases when assessing applications, so it's always best to be upfront and let the property manager know about any prior issues and explain how you resolved them, or intend to do so.
6) Prepare Your Application Beforehand
With so many applications flooding in for rentals in a competitive market, it pays to prepare beforehand so you are ready to move swiftly. Application forms can usually be found online, allowing you to fill them out before the inspection and upload identification and other supporting documents such as proof of income, utility bills, and reference details.
7) Write a Cover Letter
A cover letter isn't standard practice for a rental application; however, it could be helpful when trying to distinguish yourself from the competition. A cover letter is an excellent opportunity to give a fuller picture of yourself and your situation, reiterating your viability and explaining any gaps or breaches in your rental history.
8) Prepare Your References
The final step property managers take in the tenant decision process is to check references. As a courtesy, it's good practice to inform your referees ahead of time. Consider providing a few extra references as a contingency.
10) Prepare Your Finances
Make sure you have your bond and the required number of weeks' rent ready in advance. Paying the bond and deposit or initial rent will be the final step in securing the property, along with signing the tenancy agreement.
11) Be Responsive
Once you've applied for a property, be on standby ready to respond to calls or emails from the property manager or get back to them as soon as you can. If you are approved for a property and have other applications pending, make sure you withdraw any other applications quickly so as not to waste anyone's time.
Securing a rental property in a tight market can be a challenging task. By following these ten tips, you can increase your chances of success and ensure that you stand out from the crowd. Remember to be proactive, professional, and prepared, and you'll be on your way to finding your next rental property in no time.