How to Rent Smart – From Inspection to Application

May 24, 2022
how to rent smart

Finding and applying for a rental property is an important process to understand, whether you’re renting for financial or lifestyle reasons. 

Renting can be the simplest and easiest way to find a place to live, but there are many factors that need to be taken into account before you sign on the dotted line. 

We have complied this checklist to give you an understanding of how to better prepare yourself, and maybe even answer a few questions you could be asking yourself, like where do I even begin? 

Seeking out advice from a professional can be a start to the process of finding the right property to rent. By professional we mean a property valuer, they have extensive knowledge of the market and everything that goes into rental properties, especially knowing if the amount of rent is a true determination of what the property is worth. 

The ultimate guide is a breakdown list from start to finish in order to find, apply and moving into your new apartment or home quickly and easily. 

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Before you dive headfirst into finding a place you need to do your pre-search to figure out all the finer details to narrow done the actual research needed. this will include: 

  • determining your budget
  • type and size of apartment/house 
  • locations 

By figuring these factors first, it will narrow your search and help you stay focused on what your looking for and not going overboard and looking into places that don’t fit into your budget. 


Setting your budget is the most important step for anyone looking to rent. As this will help give you an idea of what is available and will also set realistic expectations. 

Calculating the amount, you can afford each month in rent as well as utilities. Its been recommend that you should only spend about 25-35% of your take home income on housing costs. 

So, taking your income after tax amount and multiplying it by .25 for low end budget range or .35 for a high-end budget range. 

Keep in mind its not only the rent amount you need to consider its utilities, renters insurance or any other additional payments you have personally as well, like phone, internet etc. 

Once you’ve determined the amount and what places fir your criteria its always good to see what’s utilities are included and what’s not to give an estimate of the amount you might spend depending as well on the location and size of the property. 

Another factor for some rental applications is that they look at certain income requirements such as the amount you make per month if you are able to pay rent on time as well as utilities. 


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The type of place you are looking for will all be dependant on your lifestyle needs, whether you’re looking for a studio, one or two bedrooms and if your living alone or with someone.  And your budget as well will play a part in the type of apartment you choose. 


As they say location is everything and depending on your budget this will narrow your location search as well as long as it meets your needs, do your research of the location, the area of the apartment your interested in and see what is available in the area, such as shops, schools, transport and especially work. 

Finding a location and neighbourhood that is safe and comfortable is important, keep these factors in mind so you can target the certain areas that best suit you and your search. 

Apartment search 

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Once you start researching places and have saved the ones that you are interested in and meeting your criteria you would then start enquiring about each place and set up inspections to view.

First impressions count with potential landlords so make sure to speak clearly and politely and ask all the right questions to show your interest in the property. there are a number of characteristics that landlords look for in new tenants. 

Try and schedule a view different appointment on the same day, this will allow you to get everything done at once and everything will be fresh in your mind and will be easy to compare and make a final decision. 

Questions to ask at your inspections:

  • Are any utilities included in the rent?
  • What is the security deposit?
  • What is the pet policy? (If you plan to have a pet)
  • What is the neighbourhood like? Active? Quiet? Social?
  • Any Parking available?
  • How would we deal with small maintenance issues and repairs?
  • Can we make any modifications such as paint the walls?
  • What are the exit options if something comes up before our lease is up?

At this point you should have enough information to help you decide on your top choices. The market is competitive and having the right amount of research and knowledge of what is expected from a landlord to be approved for the application will make the process less stressful. 

Preparing your application 

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Once you have narrowed down the apartments you are interested in the next step would be to apply to each, its always best to have multiple applications so you have more options to choose from if you get approved for one than one. 

What is needed for the application? 

  • Proof of income 
  • Drivers licence 
  • References 
  • Why you believe you are the best fit for the apartment 
  • Any previous rental agreements 

Once you have submitted your application and been approved to one or more the decision in up to you on which one you would like to go ahead with. 

If you have questions regarding rent and feel that its to high for what the place offers, you can get a rental review valuation completed before deciding on the property and signing the lease. 

Its important to make sure that you have read the lease terms and conditions, in case something were to arise that you are not stuck in the lease and having to pay a hefty break fee. 

As a renter its your responsibility to look after the property and treat it with respect, its your duty to keep the place clean, safe and in a good condition. If you are the cause of any damage to the property it is your responsibility to pay for fixtures. 

Your landlords’ responsibilities are to provide you a place that is habitable to live in such as 

  • Safe and secure structural elements such as walls, floors, doors, and windows.
  • Functional heating, air conditioning, plumbing, and electrical.
  • Access to a trash service.
  • Void of insect or rodent infestation.

If anything compromises the liveability of the property, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to fix. 


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The ultimate tips to preparing you to rent. As we mentioned most important part is to research and seek advice on where to begin and making informed decision on your rental property that best suits your property related requirements. 

A property valuation is an essential tool to have when it comes to negotiating property and the price. When renting a property it’s always a good idea to have a rental determination/review completed to give you the true market value of the property and the fair asking amount required for rent on the particular property.

The extensive knowledge a valuer has of the market and everything that goes into rental properties is undeniable.

You can guarantee you will receive a report that will benefit your property related requirements, to ensure you are making the right decision for your finances and the future. 

Wanna get into your dream home faster?

Download the soho app. With the app, you can contact agents quicker, browse through your property matches and ultimately find your dream home even sooner. We are finding you homes we think you’ll love, so don’t forget to shortlist or swipe left on our listings so we can send you others that better match what you’re looking for.

Daniel Miller
Daniel Miller is an extensively experienced Senior Property Valuer who has been with WC Valuers for a decade. He has expert skills in property valuation across all types and purposes, including the preparation of reports that ensure compliance with taxation, superannuation and litigation requirements. Daniel is continually enhancing his industry knowledge through career development opportunities and further education, both as an attendee and presenter.
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