Renting

Tips To Secure The Perfect Rental Property

Finding the perfect rental property is one thing, but actually having your application accepted is another. The rental market is reasonably competitive, so getting the right property at the right price can prove to be quite a task. What often happens is that people have to settle for overpriced or substandard accommodation because they are tying to secure a permanent home within a specific time frame. Sound familiar?

RELATED Expert Advice On How To Get The Job You Deserve

Most people searching for the perfect rental property are basically at the mercy of the market, unless they know someone who is leasing their perfect property, or are in the industry themselves. Let’s face it, both scenarios rarely apply, therefore you need to know effective ways to make it happen.

Get Positive Attention

If you’re attending an open inspection with a host of other interested parties, make yourself known to the agent or owner.  Present yourself in a positive way through your clothing, the way you speak, what you say and how you present yourself. Basically everything you’d do in a job interview.

Secondly, don’t have too many people tag along with you. I know it can be an exciting time, but there will be plenty of time for friends to see the new place later. Only take people who will reside at the property. For younger people trying to secure their first rental property, I’d advise to take a parent with you. Taking a parent shows the agent or owner family involvement.

How To Apply

Once you’ve seen the property you’ll need to submit an application. Email the agent or owner directly. Websites like Domain and realestate.com.au have online facilities through a third party called Form 1. Most agents accept these, however, they don’t check applications via this system unless they are made aware of it. Therefore, I’d suggest avoiding these applications until agents use them more frequently.

Instead, owners and agents prefer to have prospective tenants fill out their specific applications. Most have copies at open inspections that can be completed, scanned or photographed and emailed directly. This is the best way to apply and get the attention your application deserves.

Completing The Application

Home owners or property managers are often overloaded with paperwork, therefore they need to have a process of elimination. Their initial way of sorting through them is to look for incomplete applications and put these aside. They don’t want to waste their time chasing up details and also it’s an indication of how serious possible tenants are about renting the property.

Also, provide all the accompanying documentation when you submit the application and where possible prove a recent rental ledger. These are available from agents via email on request. If you really want a property make it as easy as possible for the person processing the application.

Contact References About Your Application

When supplying references with applications always contact them prior to submitting it. It might be a former agent or owner, work colleague or personal reference. Plus, provide agents and owners with easy contact details in order to make calls and check out your credentials. Where possible provide a day-time phone number for all references. They often ask for emails, but phone calls are generally the most effective form of contact.

Additional Extras

If you are exceptionally keen on a property, put some time and effort into an application. Submit a brief letter with your application explaining your circumstances and include anything agents and home owners look for. Things like having a secure job or stable income, family members with disabilities, if you’ve been a previous home owner and alike. These all get regarded by the owner in making their final decision. Even if an agent is processing applications, the owner will have the final say in who they want living in their property. Stand out from the crowd and entice them to select you.

Image via lifestylemoves.com

May 31, 2015

5 Things Your Real Estate Agent Might Not Be Telling You

House hunting this weekend? Did you know that while sellers have a duty to inform their agents of any issues surrounding a property, many simply neglect to disclose issues if they are likely to influence a buyer’s purchasing decision.

As such, buyers are often kept in the dark about what they are actually purchasing. Nicole Ciantar of Vogue Real Estate Australia has devised a list of five things that your real estate agent may not be telling you about when renting or buying a property – so make sure you ask the right questions.

1. Urban development and infrastructure projects
For buyers, the environmental surroundings of the property are a key determinant in the purchase decision. Real estate agents may fail to inform buyers of any government projects or new infrastructure, such as roads or housing blocks being built near the home if they haven’t been notified by the seller.

2. Criminal history of the home
Any crimes committed in the house are often left undisclosed, from drug-labs to shoot-outs to cases of abuse. “Although these types of crimes may not result in death, the sensitive type of consumer is still going to feel distressed,” Ms Ciantar said.

3. Termite damage or impact
Annually, termites damage over 180,000 Australian homes and buildings. Estimates of the combined cost of termite damage range from $700-1 billion when agriculture and horticulture are taken into account. Despite this, many buyers are unaware of homes affected by termites and are generally only made aware after conducting a termite inspection. Often people don’t consider doing this.

4. Changes to Residential Tenancy Agreement
Previously, if a tenant wished to break free of their property lease before the end of the fixed term of the agreement, they were obliged by contract to continue paying rent and property fees until a suitable replacement tenant was found. Changes to the Residential Tenancy Agreement provide an alternative for tenants, allowing them to break free of the lease so long as notice is given and they pay six weeks of rent upfront. “Many renters are unaware of this new clause and feel stuck living in a property when they simply want to move on” Ms Ciantar said.

5. Suicide, deaths and backyard burial sites
“The gory history of a home often remains hidden,” said Ms Ciantar. The previous owner may have committed suicide with new buyers completely oblivious. “This is concerning, as many people would probably feel uncomfortable living in a ‘haunted’ and stigmatised house.”

So how do you avoid these pitfalls? Ms Ciantar suggests that research is essential, and buyers should thoroughly inspect the home and ask detailed questions before making any purchase decisions. Examining old records, conducting termite inspections and even carrying out a simple Google search is sure to deliver valuable information. Above all, a good real estate agent can make all the difference, so buyers are encouraged to look around and find an agent that best understands their needs.

November 27, 2013

Your room-by-room cleaning checklist

Is your house all cleared out? Then it’s probably time to clean up! Follow this comprehensive cleaning checklist to make sure you leave behind a sparkling house and get back that all-important rental bond from your real estate agent or landlord.

Living areas and bedrooms

  • Remove any nails, picture hooks or screws left in the walls. Fill in any holes and paint over, where necessary.
  • Dust skirting boards and window ledges.
  • Clean the windows inside and out.
  • Give walls a quick wipe down and remove any scuff marks.
  • Polish door knobs and wipe down doors.
  • Organise a professional steam clean or thoroughly vacuum carpets.
  • Mop wooden floor boards.

Top tip: Use a brush attachment on the vacuum cleaner to clean the creases of Roman blinds.

Kitchen

  • Disinfect countertops and surface areas.
  • Empty out cabinets and drawers and wipe clean.
  • Scrub the oven, inside and out. Remove shelving, drip pans and burners and wash clean.
  • Wipe off any grease or dust from the exhaust fan.
  • Empty the dishwasher filter and run a cycle to get rid of all residual food.
  • Turn all the taps off and wipe the sink clean of any soap scum.

Top tip: Keep cleaning supplies in one bucket so you can easily move around the house without backtracking.

Bathroom

  • Rinse and remove soap scum from the bathtub, screen and shower recess.
  • Scrub wall tiles and grouting with bleach.
  • Clean the toilet.
  • Empty vanity drawers and wipe clean.
  • Wipe down the exhaust fan.
  • Wipe off the sink and countertop.
  • Clean the mirror with glass spray and paper towels.
  • Wash or replace the shower curtain.

Top tip: For stubborn rings around the bathtub, use a cream cleaner and light abrasive sponge.

Outside

  • Pull out any weeds and mow the grass.
  • Scrub stains on decking or stairs.
  • Clear out leaves, twigs and other muck from the gutters.
  • Sweep outside porches and paths.
  • Make sure you have cleaned out the shed and garage. Give them a good sweep and remember to return any locks and keys.

Top tip: If you can get your hands on a leaf blower, this is a great tool for clearing leaves out of the garden and effortlessly sweeping dirt from decks and garage floors.

Now that you’re done and dusted, don’t forget to organise your utilities. Keep it quick and simple with EnergyAustralia’s estimate tool.

July 17, 2013