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5 ways to impress your potential landlord

Photo: One Red Rose by Jocelyn Kinghorn

You’ve spent many days, nights, weekends searching for a place to call home. You finally found the one that’s just perfect for you. Unfortunately, you know that other people will also find it appealing and come to inspect it this weekend. Here are 5 tips to make you stand out as THE tenant your landlord was looking for.

With demand for rental places being as high as ever, landlords have plenty of prospective tenants to select from to fill their place with the best person suitable. So here are some tips to give you the edge over the competition and help you secure the place to live.

Treat the viewing like a job interview

You have one chance to leave a good first impression, so make it count.

  • Arrive 5 minutes early. No one likes latecomers

  • Dress to impress or like someone who can take care of themselves and a property you’re inspecting.

  • Come prepared and have your answers ready. Know details of the place you’re inspecting, a name of the person giving you a tour. Be clear about how much you can afford, who will live with you and the earliest / latest dates you can move in by.

  • Be professional, polite, friendly and show enthusiasm

  • Try to find a common ground between you and the owner and engage in conversation

  • Ask questions. Don’t ask too many to appear obsessed with certain issues but ask relevant questions about utilities, or tenancy inclusions.

Get your finances in order

You can’t be a great tenant if you can’t pay rent. Make sure you have enough money set aside to pay advance rental payments (up to 2 weeks’ rent), bond money (up to 4 weeks’ rent) and additional letting fees. Being able to pay the deposit quickly will be essential to securing your perfect rental home.

Almost all prospective landlords run credit checks on their applicants. Ideally you should know what your credit report could uncover. If there are any negative marks, it’s a good idea to be upfront and honest, confront the issue before it becomes a problem. Consider providing a written statement explaining how your circumstances have changed, offering a recent bank statement showing additional savings or providing a written reference from your previous landlord.

Be desirable

It is important to put your best foot forward and try to highlight all the things that make you an attractive tenant. Truth be told, when landlords are comparing different applicants they’re looking for someone who is responsible, willing to take care of themselves and the property and not going to contact them about every minute issue. If you’re a tradie, a gardener or just handy with tools you might prove irresistible to a landlord, so make sure to mention it.

Be flexible

If somewhere is vacant, the owners will be more likely to rent their place to whoever can move in sooner rather than later. If you want to secure your ideal place, you may need to be flexible with dates. This means your current and new lease dates may not perfectly align and you may need to pay double rent.

Alternatively, you can consider searching for a new place in off-peak periods. Avoiding busy times like Christmas, school holidays, start of University period may bring you more success in securing the right rental.

If rental demand is high, if your place is likely to attract a large number of applicants, or if you just really really want the place, you can consider offering extra rent. Sometimes $5-$10 extra per week can push your application to the top of the pile. But remember offering more rent alone does not mean that someone will be a better tenant, and landlords know that.

Act quickly and go after it

Be confident, tell the owner why you loved the place. Talk to them, strike a conversation, thank them for their time. Charm and compliments can go a long way.

If you loved it, go for it! Make sure you have all the documents ready to apply for the place straight after you’ve inspected the property to maximise your chances of getting the place.

All landlords want is for someone to pay rent on time and to look after their place as if it were their own. Remember the owners don’t know anything about you, so it’s up to you to show them why you’d be a great tenant and to reassure them that their place would be your perfectly loved home.

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