Tenant Guide: How to improve your chances of renting
Renting a good place to live is almost as difficult as buying your first property. Improve your chances with our 7-point guide.
A good property manager will be completing reference checks, background checks, credit checks, and criminal history checks. You may be asked for details of where you have previously lived for up to three years. Reference checks from your current landlord or any former landlord will be crucial. Have you got their contact details ready? If you are new to renting then seriously consider being proactive and nominate a ‘guarantor’ to go on the tenancy agreement. Is there anything that could be negative in a background check? For example, if you were named in a tenancy tribunal report you would be better volunteering the information and explain the circumstances around it. Run a credit check on yourself. There may be something negative that you are unaware of. If so, try to clean it up by making overdue credit card payments etc. A good agent will check anyway – but you want to see it first.
Search and find a suitable property
Decide where you want to live and how far away from work you are prepared to move. Search online at sites like www.trademe.co.nz and any company websites.
Contact the property manager promptly
As the common saying goes “the early bird catches the worm”. This is all too true in the world of property, so as soon as you see a property listed make your presence known to the property manager. Follow their preferred way to make contact and take the opportunity to ask more than ‘when is the next viewing? By establishing a strong connection and allowing them to get to know you, your partner or your family could be a real advantage when it comes to being one of the first to view the property.
Treat the application process like a job
Competition for a rental property is similar to going for a job, you want to put your best foot forward so as to gain an interview. With this in mind, it is important to make sure your application includes all the necessary information for property managers and landlords to come to a good decision. This could include your renting history, job and hobbies. Additionally, ensure this document is updated to reflect family, current pets, job or major life changes – these could be a game-changer. Ask your current landlord to provide you with an up to date rent record and attach it to your application. Scan a copy of your driver’s licence and include it with your application.
Get your housemates into gear
Your housemates don’t have to attend the property inspection (although this is preferable), but you need to get their full and completed application and references to the property manager. If you have a complete set of documentation for all named tenants on the application, your application has a better chance of being top of the pile, as property managers will be unlikely to waste their time chasing people for important information.
Appear neat and tidy
In a similar sense to a job interview, how you appear at the viewing could be the difference between being offered the property or not. Arrive on time, introduce yourself and be polite and friendly. Of course, as you move around the property treat the rooms with respect. When the property manager or landlord consider their options, they want someone who can be a good tenant and your behaviour will go a long way in this decision.
Make a decision and act quickly
If you are offered the property it is not secured until a tenancy agreement is signed. Most good property managers make a conditional offer subject to a signed tenancy agreement by a specific time. If you procrastinate they want to offer the property to their second choice. So if you are offered the property and want it to move quickly to determine when you would like the tenancy to start and provide any other details the property manager needs to complete the agreement.