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The easy way to find a rental home without a rental history

January 11, 2019

The time has come to move out of home and go out on your own. You’re excited to get your own place and have a little more independence. You go to a few exhibitions and find a place you love. Then you talk to the property manager and one of the first things they ask you for is your rental history…

A lot of first time tenants start to worry that they won’t be able to rent a property, because they don’t have a rental history and that they won’t be able to get a rental history because they can’t rent a property. However, it’s not the inescapable catch-22 it seems to be. After all, if people without a rental history were never allowed to rent a property, pretty soon all those properties would be empty.

Every tenant was a first time renter at one point and securing a home without a rental history doesn’t have to be hard. We spoke with Hannah Gill from Independent Property Management for some tips you can use to make applying for your first rental property easier.

“When you apply for a rental property,” says Hannah, “the leasing consultant looks for two main things: that you can afford to pay the rent and that you can take care of the property. A good rental history can help to show you are capable of both, but it’s not the only way to do so. There are a few things you can do to strengthen your application and improve your chances of securing a great home.”

Collect some good references

References can help to show you are reliable and earn enough money to afford the rent. According to Hannah, “A reference from an employer, a manager or a senior colleague is a great addition to your application.”

“Ask your boss for a reference which includes how much you earn and how long you’ve been working for them. You can even draft it for them to make it easier and ensure that it says everything it needs to say.”

References from university lecturers, volunteer organisations or community groups can also be effective.

Prove you can afford the property

“Make sure you include copies of your recent pay slips and bank statements with your application,” says Hannah, “these should show you earn enough money to afford the rent and are capable of maintaining savings.”

Some tenants also offer to pay a few months’ rent in advance or have a parent sign the tenancy agreement as a guarantor.

Build a relationship with the leasing consultant

Leasing consultants assess rental applications before they are forwarded to the property owner, who will make the final decision on who gets to live in the property. Hannah suggests building a rapport with the leasing consultant so they can help you with your applications.

You want to show the leasing consultant that you are organised, reliable and easy to deal with. Speak with the leasing consultant about what you are looking for and how you can strengthen your application. Be aware though, that during the exhibition they might be quite busy. If that’s the case, get their contact details so you can call them or email them at a more appropriate time.

Once they know what you are looking for, a good leasing consultant will let you know about other available properties that might be suitable for you.

Make sure you are ready to apply straight away

“You can give yourself an advantage by bringing copies of everything you need to apply for the home with you to any exhibitions,” says Hannah “That way, if you like the property you can apply for it right away, so you will have a head start on other applicants who might not submit their applications for a few days. The turnaround time can be very quick if all the necessary documentation is supplied and the property owner is easily contactable. An outcome can usually be achieved within 8 to 14 hours.”

Bring copies of your references, your pay details and copies of 100 points of ID. Suitable ID includes:

  •     Birth certificate
  •     Drivers licence
  •     Citizenship certificate
  •     Passport
  •     Medicare card
  •     Utility bills

Here is a full list of acceptable forms of ID and their point values.

Apply for more than one property

According to Hannah, “It’s a good idea to go to multiple exhibitions and apply for all the properties that are suitable for you in order of preference. Don’t put all your hopes in getting the home you like the best, and neglect other properties that might be just as good. The more properties you apply for, the higher your chance of finding a great home. If you don’t get your first preference, we always try to help you achieve your second choice.”

If you’d like more advice on how to find a rental property, get in touch with our leasing team.