Top tips to secure a rental property

Top tips to secure a rental property

The competition for rental properties has heated up over the past few years. Successfully securing your dream rental takes more than just submitting an application and sitting back to wait. If you want to improve the chances of bagging your perfect property, you need to make yourself stand out… in a good way, of course!

If you’re planning to apply or start hunting for a rental property, these tips will put you one step ahead of everyone else.

1.Craft a killer cover letter

If you apply for a job, you’re often asked to include a cover letter to describe why you’re a perfect fit for the role. Why not do the same when applying for a rental?

Everyone needs to include the basics, such as bank statements and references, but you can stand out from other applicants by painting a picture of who you are. Are you applying with a long-term partner or best friend? Do you have a green thumb? Are there property features that you particularly love? Perhaps you want to introduce your pet or make note that you don’t smoke?

Keep the rental application cover letter to one page and be professional, but don’t be afraid to let your personality show. A killer cover letter can do more than just land you a dream job.

2.First impressions count

Attending inspections is an exciting part of the process – you get a real feel for what it could be like to live there! Open homes can get hectic, but it’s also the perfect place to introduce yourself to the agent, have a friendly chat and express your enthusiasm for the house. Just like you hope to deal with a nice property manager, they would like to deal with a friendly tenant, so it’s a fantastic time to show this.

Dress well, ask them any questions you may have and let them know why you like the property. If you really love the place, fill out a rental application with all relevant documents before the inspection, so you can show your interest immediately.

Like a cover letter, a positive first impression at the inspection and planning ahead can go a long way towards securing the rental.

3.Prepare your rental application

It is a property manager’s role to ensure a rental is tenanted as soon as possible. If someone suitable with all of the correct documents gets in ahead of you, you’ve probably lost your shot.

If you do apply quickly, make sure the forms are filled in correctly and you have your supporting documents prepared. Property managers don’t have time to follow up missing or forgotten details, especially if there are plenty of appropriate applications that have already been submitted.

Here is a list of what you need to prepare:

  • Reference letters (including pets’)
  • Proof of income (payslips, bank statements, tax returns)
  • Letter of employment (if you are new to your role)
  • Valid Photo ID (passport, driver’s licence)
  • Medicare card / Private Health Card
  • Utility bill
  • Rental/employment history (including contact details)
  • Completed application form
  • Enough money to pay the bond (this is equivalent to four weeks rent in Tasmania) as well as two weeks rent payable in advance


It is a good idea to collate the relevant documents before you start searching for a rental. The speed at which you submit your application will put you at the top of the pile and improve your chance of getting the property.

4.Take initiative & show interest

If you haven’t heard anything a few days after the inspection, be sure to follow up with the agent to showcase your interest. Even if the property has been leased, the agent will become familiar with your name, application and dedication. (Just don’t be too dedicated by calling or emailing every day. It may have the opposite effect.)

If you are self-employed, it is an excellent idea to provide details of your accountant or further bank statements. This can put the landlord’s mind at ease regarding your current financial situation. For those of you who are unemployed, add in some background information: have you just sold a business? Are you taking some time off or were you recently made redundant? The more information the property manager and landlord have, the better your chances of success.

Added benefits

1. Are your social media accounts up-to-date?

If your accounts are public, it’s not uncommon for landlords to go beyond conventional means to review your application. If the information on your application doesn’t match your accounts, it could mean someone else edges out in front of you.

2. Do you need a guarantor?

There are times where it might be appropriate to have a guarantor to add credibility to your application. The role of the guarantor should not be taken lightly, though, as they will be required to sign the lease and be held accountable in the event of damages or inability to pay rent. If considering a guarantor, it is best to speak to the property manager about your individual situation prior to submitting your application.  

Take the time to write a cover letter, submit your documents accurately and ahead of time, and build a rapport with the property manager. Each of these tips will put you on track to secure your ideal rental.

Sometimes, even your ideal rental will need something extra to make it feel like your own. Check out our article on how to transform your rental kitchen for some simple but effective ways to make it feel like home.