How to find a good rental property

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The Sydney rental property can be vicious: old rentals with hidden defects, highly coveted properties with queues of 30 or more applicants, properties that disappear by the time you get your application in.  Here is a guide to help you navigate the rental property market and get your application approved.

Game plan your inspections

So you know which suburb you want to live in and have a checklist of what you want out of your new home.  Sounds like you’re ready?  Inspections in the same suburb often happen in a narrow window of time with up to 10 minute slots for 8 to 10 properties within the same hour.  If you don’t have a car, consider asking a friend or future housemate to lend you one or go to inspections with you.  You could Uber to get around so you can see as many places as possible.  Make sure your game plan is realistic.  If there are a few places that are a squeeze in your game plan consider putting lesser properties between brackets.

Get your paperwork sorted

As soon as you know you’re going for a new place, start preparing what you will need to apply for rentals so there are no delays in getting your application in bright and early on the same or next business day.  Here’s a quick checklist of the usual paperwork for rental applications:

  • Ask for references from past (and present) landlords, real estate agents, work and personal referees
  • Personal details (addresses, work, etc) for every applicant who will be on the rental lease
  • Photocopies for 100 points of ID (driving licence, passport, medicare card)
  • Evidence of  current residential address (bills, rental reference, rental journal, letters)
  • Scanned versions of the documents for easy upload to application pages or to email.

Be prepared (or how to deal with real estate agents)

Before you go to the inspection make a list of questions that are important to you: where is the laundry?  How much per load?  What is the security access into the building?  What is the walking distance to the schools, public transport, etc?  What are the neighbours like?  Any common complaints?  If you really like a place, it’s also a good idea to make yourself known (and liked) to the agent.  Make sure they know your name, switch a bit of the old charm on and present yourself as a responsible yet easy to deal with tenant.  Get a general sense of the agent too.  Remember you may be dealing with them for months or years!

Follow up!

Get your application in as soon as possible.  Be proactive in your application.  Ask the agent what else they need to get  your application approved.

Good luck and get your dream rental soon!

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