As the demand for rental property in Australia continues to grow consecutively over the last few weeks, securing your dream rental can be challenging.
According to the REA Insights Weekly Rental Demand Index, Australia’s rental demand has witnessed a 1.5% and 0.1% rise in the last two weeks respectively.
In comparison to 2019, the demand for rental units has seen a whopping growth of 34.6%, while demand for rental houses has increased by 13.4%.
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the property market is experiencing major shifts in demand and supply. Poor labour market conditions, loss of jobs, and economic instability are primary concerns of households now.
Amid the crisis, they have already tapped into their savings or are consolidating to save more. Hence, it is only natural that their expenditures shift away from things such as buying a new home.
In fact, many Australians are taking the “renting” approach to save more money and secure their financial future in the wake of the global health crisis.
The market for renting is vital to the livelihood of many Australians that the state and territory governments have taken definitive measures to stabilise the rental market.
These include regulations to limit landlords’ ability to evict tenants who are witnessing financial hardship amid the pandemic and income support measures like Coronavirus Supplement and JobKeeper program.
This has further inspired rental demand in Australia. With this rental demand in Australia, one can only imagine the level of competition you will face when trying to secure the rental property you have been eyeing for.
With smart planning and doing your homework right, you can put your best foot forward and climb up the rental ladder and here are some steps that you’re able to take today.
1. Determine Your Rental Budget
Before you get to the market to hunt for your dream rental property, know the price range you can afford. Be sure to eliminate properties outside of that range as it will help save more time that you would otherwise waste by evaluating property listings you cannot afford.
It is important to be realistic in setting your rental budget depending on your current financial condition and what you can afford in the future.
In addition to the monthly rental you pay, take into consideration other costs such as utility bills, cost of living in the region you are looking for, your future financial prospects, etc. Being practical in budget planning is the first step to getting a rental property you can afford.
2. Be Prepared
Let us give you an insider tip: be prepared even before you start looking for a rental property.
To begin with, make sure you have the right documentation. In most cases, you may need a properly filled-up application form, references, proof of employment or payslips, cover letter, photo ID proof, and pet references (if any).
“Go to 1form and get everything ready to go. Have all the information required – that’s the correct property information and agent information – payslips, a bio. and a snapshot of yourself,” Joanne Pearson recommends, client-consultant from McGrath St Kilda.
Submit all these to your real estate agent and set an impression of how serious you are about renting.
This preparation may very well be the factor that helps you win when you submit your rental application.
3. Verify Your Application Before Submitting
If the application you submit is incomplete or full of errors, it will set you towards failure. Real estate agents are too busy and if they need to continuously chase you for information, it may turn them off.
“We look at the applications and pick the best ones, and this means they are completed and done properly,” Pearson said.
To put it simply, property owners are looking for potential tenants who are responsible, have the financial stability to pay rent on time, and will not cause damage to the property. A duly filled-up application form tells a lot about all these factors.
4. Prioritise Location
Location plays an integral role in securing the best rental property you are looking for.
Is the location in close proximity to modern amenities? Does it have a great transportation system? Is it near your work or has a reputable school district?
Determine what factors you can compromise on and what matters most to you when choosing the right location. Each factor has their own set of tradeoffs.
For example, you might find a rental property in the heart of a city with accessible amenities. However, the tradeoff might be the high price of the rental due to its location.
Renting a property in a well-off location may cost you more in rental payments and cost of living, but choosing a remote location means you have to pay more in transportation or accessing other conveniences.
Hence, it is important to plan out the location to determine which is a better bet for you.
5. Schedule an Inspection
Inspecting the rental property before you sign on the dotted lines is a must.
While the property might look like your dream home in photos, the reality may be far from what you see.
So, it is crucial that you book an inspection and see what you are applying for.
Moreover, the property manager might not complete the application unless you inspect the property.
It is also during these inspections that you might be able to notice existing problems and highlight them to the landlord. Who knows, you might even be able to use it as a leverage in your rental negotiations!
Finding your ideal rental property might require little homework, a bit of luck and lots of legwork. But with these essential tips, you will find yourself a strong competitor when finding your dream rental.