Applying for a Rental Property:

Before applying for a rental property, you should always inspect the property first, and some agencies will not allow you to apply before viewing the property.

Make a good impression at the inspection

When you apply for a property to rent, you could be competing with many other applicants also interested in the same place.

The landlord or agent will decide whether your application will be approved. To give yourself the best chance of success it’s important to make a good impression with the landlord or agent.

To make a good impression:

  • dress neatly—as if you are going for a job interview
  • be on time or early for appointments and inspections
  • go alone or take only your partner/co-tenants to appointments and inspections and give the landlord/agent your full attention
  • respect the property that you are visiting
  • introduce yourself and answer questions politely
  • have a list of any questions you want to ask about the property

What to look for at the inspection

Here are a few questions you could ask:

  • Does it have gas or electricity or both?
  • Are the smoke alarms and a safety switch compliant? (Smoke alarms and a safety switch are required by Queensland law.)
  • Is the hot water system big enough for your household’s needs?
  • Are the locks on the doors and windows adequate for your safety and contents insurance?
  • Are any water-saving devices installed, is the property water compliant? This is important if you will be paying for water.
  • Is there a phone line and/or internet/NBN?
  • Does your mobile phone get reception inside the property?
  • Is there a television antenna and reception?
  • Are the fences and gates in good working order? If you have a pet, is the fence suitable?
  • What size is the yard? Will you be able to look after the garden and lawns?
  • Do you notice any repairs needed? For example, taps leaking.

When repairs are needed

The lessor or agent is responsible for completing repairs and making sure the property is fit to live in.

If the property needs repairs, ask the lessor or agent whether they’ll be done before you move in.

If they won’t, ask the lessor or agent for this to be written into the lease agreement that they’ll do the repairs after you move in.  It is a good idea to make any requests for repairs in writing.

If you do rent the property, note any repairs that the property needs on the entry condition report.

The rental application

Once you find a rental property you like, you will need to complete an application. Before the inspection, ask the landlord or agent how to apply for the property so you can complete this immediately if you like the property. This can increase your chances of getting the property you want.

Affordability

A major factor in deciding which rental property to apply for is whether you can afford to pay the weekly rent. Most agencies will calculate your affordability using 30% financial criteria.  This criterion is used to ensure tenants can maintain rental payments as well as general living costs. 

Rental History

You will require to provide the previous 5 years of rental history, this provides the agent with a more accurate indication your rental history, regarding routine inspections and rental arrears over a long period of time.

All information is provided

Ensure all information is completed on your application and all applicants over the age of 16 have applied.  This allows the agency to complete your application promptly without having to follow up for more information.  When the agencies are inundated with applications, if your application is not complete there’s a chance, your application could get decline if it’s not complete.

TICA

TICA is Australia’s Largest Tenancy Database. When applying for a rental property, the landlord or agent will check whether you are listed on a tenancy database. If you know that you are listed on a tenancy database, talk to the landlord or agent about this before you submit your application.

Provided 100 points of Identification, including (but not limited to):

  • Drivers Licence/ Proof of Age Card
  • Passport
  • Birth Certificate
  • State/ Federal Government photo ID
  • Medicare card
  • Utilities Bill (telephone, internet, gas, electricity, council rates notice, car registration etc)
  • Tenancy Documentation (Lease agreement, rent receipts x 4, Bond lodgement receipt or rental ledger)
  • Credit card/ bank statement

Evidence of income:

  • If you are employed, provide your two most recent payslips.
  • If you are not employed, provide your most recent Centrelink Income Statement.
  • If you are self-employed, provide Bank Statements, Group Certificate, Tax Return or Accountants letter.

How to speed up the application timeframe

  • Have your application ready on the agents chosen platform ready to go prior to inspection. Once you’ve viewed the property and want to proceed you should be able to click apply once you leave the inspection.
  • Give your personal, emergency and employer reference a heads up those agencies will be contacting them for references.
  • Answer every question to the best of your knowledge and always be completely honest.
  • Provide current contact information for all references (personal, professional, previous rental history).

If you’re in doubt about how to complete a rental application or have an unusual scenario, it’s always best to contact the agent and request an appointment with the leasing officer or property manager to discuss further.

Unsuccessful applications

If your application is not approved, ask the landlord or agent why you were unsuccessful. This may help you with your next application.

Be polite and respectful as the next property you apply for may also be from the same landlord or agent. How you act in response to your application being unsuccessful could affect your future applications.