In Focus

Top 5 tips for first time renters

Teleisha Thomas

Teleisha Thomas

February 2017
First Time Renters

How can you break into the rental market this year?

An increasingly competitive rental market can make the prospect of securing your first lease seem daunting.

"It may feel as though the cards are stacked against you, however this is not necessarily the case," explains explains Lauren Burmistrow, Leasing Agent for Hawthorn Leasing at Jellis Craig Boroondara.

Lauren says first time rental applicants can expect more chance of success in a competitive rental market if they consider the following five tips:

1. Give the owner confidence around rent payments

Younger renters, especially those still studying, can benefit significantly from having a parent or guardian on the lease.

"A letter of guarantor from a parent or legal guardian guarantees that they are willing to go onto the lease as well and pay the rent should you find yourself in any financial trouble," explains Lauren.

As a first time renter with no leasing history or rental references, a parent or guardian providing evidence of a consistent, full-time income provides the leasing agent and landlord with both piece of mind of capacity to meet the financial requirements of the lease.

2. Cover letter and references

"To help your application stand out include a cover letter explaining your situation and provide character references," recommends Lauren.

"These references should be from people who know you well, for example a professional reference from an employer, a school principal or university lecturer."

Other referees may include a neighbour, teacher, coach, business person, doctor or accountant who can vouch for your reliability and good character.

3. Provide clear evidence of employment

"If you are a first time renter and already employed, the real estate agent will require proof of employment to confirm and verify your income," says Lauren.

"Each application will require three consecutive pay slips, or a bank statement indicating proof of funds."

To keep your application at the top of the pile, a letter from your employer describing your reliability and the integral nature of your role to the company can add weight to your application.  

4. Be prepared

Have your application completed and supporting documents ready to go. This will speed up the process, as the agent won’t be waiting on information.

Remember, someone else can still apply while the leasing agent is waiting to receive all the required information to support your application, so it’s a good idea to be prepared.

"A big one is identification," says Lauren. "You will need to have 100 points of ID. This means a clear copy of your passport and a current drivers licence. It is one step many people seem to forget!"

5. The devil is in the details

Finally, don't be afraid to provide the landlord and leasing agent with as much detail as possible.

"The more information we have got to provide to the owner, the better chance your application has of success," says Lauren.


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