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How to rent a property without a Rental History

By Marcel Dybner

How to rent a property without a rental history.

So you’ve decided to take the big step to move out of home – whether you’re taking the leap on your own or you’re moving out with friends, getting approved for your first rental property can be quite challenging. In a competitive rental market, most property owners lean towards tenants with a solid rental history rather than risk someone with no history at all. But don’t stress, there are some simple steps you can take to help get the property you want.

When applying for properties, keep in mind that the aim of most agents is to find someone who will look after the property, pay their rent on time and can move in quickly.

Here are 5 simple strategies to increase your chances of getting approved for the property that you want.

1. Be Prepared
Before setting off to view potential properties, I recommend getting your application pack together and have it ready to hand to the property manager then and there if you’d like to apply. Most agencies have a link on their websites to their application form, or you can register with and complete the application online and send it straight through once you’ve inspected the property. Make sure your pack includes the following:

  • A neatly completed application form for each applicant
  • Clear colour copies of ID (Most agents require 100 points)
  • Cover letter explaining why you’d make a good tenant even though you don’t have a rental history

You should also consider including any other documentation you think will help prove your ability to pay the rent and show that you’d make a good, responsible tenant. In my experience, the following have been very well accepted by landlords:

  • Payslips
  • Bank Statements
  • Reference letters from teachers, employers, parents

2. Get in Early
Good Property Managers realise that they can’t lease properties without being flexible and showing the property to prospective tenants when it suits them. Try to make a private appointment to view the property earlier in the week. By doing this, you can avoid having to compete against all the people who are waiting for the weekend to see it. If you can get in first, the chances of you getting the property are much higher.

3. First Impressions Count
Even when you’re applying to be a tenant you need to look your best. Dress well when you meet with the property manager – think of it as an interview and leave the best first impression you can. The property manager will be recommending you to the owner and if you look like you haven’t slept for days and smell like you haven’t showered for a while, then chances are you won’t be at the top of their list.

4. Take Action
Once you’ve put in your application, call the property manager the following day to follow up. You don’t want to come across as desperate or annoying but you do want them to know that you’re keen. Ask them if they require anymore information or have any questions of you and tell them how keen you are to move in.

5. Offer a Little More
While the laws for tenants can vary from state to state, when you take on a property you’re going to be asked to pay a bit of rent in advance and perhaps a bond too. If you really like the property and it looks like it might be competitive, you may decide to offer a little more than is requested in advance. Landlords or property managers cannot ask for more money than legally required but they’re likely not to decline if offered more by the tenant.

These are just five tips that can help increase your chances of getting the property you want. If needs be, you could ask your parents to act as guarantors or put their name on the lease with you for added security. This shouldn’t be your first choices though and one of the best bets is to offer more rent than is being asked in advance to show you are an able and serious tenant.

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