How to stand out in a competitive rental market

man tidying garden for rental

Now more than ever, you need to know how to make your rental application stand out from the competition for the best properties. Check out our seven top tips on what any good landlord is looking for in a desirable tenant so you can get yours to the top of the shortlist.

Landlords may still have their own checklist when selecting the best tenant for their property,  and here are the most common ones we’ve found to be on those lists.

Show you’re responsible

First up, they’re looking for a tenant who pays their rent on time and doesn’t cause any damage to the property. They want someone with a proven record of financial responsibility who can follow the rules in a lease agreement and not cause them any problems.

You are paying to live in a landlord’s property. Chances are, they depend on the rent payment to pay for their own necessities and make the property’s mortgage payment. Even just a few days late with rent can be a problem. Some landlords may want evidence that demonstrates you’ve done these things well and can reliably pay your rent on time.

In Australia, we can easily do a tenancy check that shows things such as the tenant’s background, any irregular rent payments, broken lease conditions, money owing, damages, or criminal records in relation to their previous rentals, so make sure you tell the truth when asked about any of these things in the past and either explain your side of the story or how you’ve learnt from past mistakes.

If you’re renting for the first time, showing you’ve been paying your regular bills on time and you have a steady income is a great way to prove you can also pay rent on time, every time it’s due.

Respond to the lease agreement

You will have to follow any state or national tenant-landlord laws, but often a lease will have a special clause or condition. It’s important to understand what these are before you submit an application so you know what you’re up for.

‘Having a chat with the property manager about how you’ve looked after a pool before, you’re a keen gardener who knows how to keep gardens thriving or use a spa without it overflowing are all great examples of how renters can stand out from the competition,’ advisesAsh Brown, Director of One Agency Orange.

‘We like to get to know you personally, rather than just read about you in the application, which can sometimes be a bit clinical.’

If you have a pet, for example, but the lease states no pets are allowed, don’t be afraid to show us how your pet could live in that property without causing any damage or problems, and ask if it can be allowed. This kind of upfront behaviour is appealing because it shows who you are and that you understand how to take care of a property. It may not get you that property, but it will put you on the agent’s radar as a responsible tenant.

Landlords like tenants who make a home

An applicant who wants to make a home is more desirable than someone who just wants a place to eat and sleep. It also shows you’re stable and will be more house proud so you’re more likely to care for the property like it’s your own. Many landlords will favour these applications because such people make for excellent tenants. Make sure you let the agent know you’re keen on this property and what it is about it that’s so appealing to you.

Show you’ll go the extra mile

Keeping a property clean doesn’t just mean wiping down tabletops and vacuuming the floors. An ideal tenant will also manage the exterior things like the garden, driveway, garage as well as preventing pest infestations. Let the property manager or landlord know how much care you take and that these “extra mile” items are part of your normal maintenance habits.

The same goes for reporting problems. It’s reassuring for a landlord to hear that you know to notify them about small problems so they don’t turn into big and expensive problems because it wasn’t dealt with early. A desirable tenant, however, does not constantly report petty problems to the landlord so get the balance right. If certain problems can be resolved on your own without breaching any lease agreements or rules, it’s a bonus to have you as a tenant so make sure they know about your experience with plumbing or any other general home maintenance.

What about sharing?

If you intend to have long-term guests but you don’t want their names on the lease, be open and honest about this and provide information about these people too. Nothing spooks a property manager faster than seeing people they didn’t know about living in the property, even if it’s only for a while.

If you decide to share the rental, be aware that the lease agreement is a contract between the landlord and all the tenants, which means anyone who decides to share your rental with you will have to go through the same process you went through to add their name to the lease and officially become a tenant.

Present yourself well

First impressions count. Be polite, give a firm handshake and a pleasant smile when you meet the landlord or agent. Send a note after the inspection telling them a little about yourself and how much you liked the property. These touches can make all the difference if selection comes down to you and one other person.

Rent with the best

If you’d like to see the great properties we have available right now, check out One Agency Orange’s Residential Rentals or our short Facebook Armchair Open videos where Ash will walk you through our latest properties, or come and meet the team in person at our office in Summer Street. We’re Orange’s friendliest and most energetic agency. Our service is all about making your real estate experience as stress-free as possible.

02 6362 9560 | admin.orange@oneagency.com.au | Suite 7/230 Summer Street Orange NSW 2800