Just as tenants spend time and effort investigating whether the property they are wanting to rent meets their requirements, the landlord is also assessing your suitability as a prospective tenant.
You would probably not the only one vying for the property, so you need to do all you can to look impressive in person and in paper, so the landlord would look at your application in a favourable light.
Here are the things a tenant should do or should provide to pass the screening phase of the application process:
Fill up an application form
Once you find the property that you like, complete an application form. Include all the required documents, so you will not be contacted by the landlord/agent for more information.
There are several required documents that you will need, so before you start your search, it is smart to gather them all. You are already ahead of the competition and looking good in the eyes of the landlord when you have all these information. The documents you will need are:
Photo identification (a driver’s licence or passport will do)
Reference letters (past landlords and employers)
Payslips (to show your ability to pay rent)
Rental history (your previous rental arrangements, including former addresses, late rent payments and evictions, criminal history, credit score, etc.)
Cover letter (not required, but attaching with your application firm will make you stand out from the other prospective tenants)
There are only three types of fees that the landlord/agent can take from a prospective tenant:
Holding deposit (gives the tenant the exclusive right to enter into a lease for the property)
Key deposit (tenant will get a full refund when the keys are returned)
Rent and/or bond (given after the application is approved and the lease is signed)
Make a good impression
The approval of your application is up to the hands of the landlord or their agents. Making a good impression with the landlord/agent increases your chances of success. Arrive on time at your appointments and inspections and dress nicely. When viewing the property, show proper respect. Introduce yourself to the landlord/agent and answer their questions politely. During this time, you can also ask your list of prepared questions.
Do a follow up
If you have not heard any news within 48 hours after you have submitted your application, make a follow up with the landlord/agent. Tell the landlord of your desire to lease the property and your willingness to provide more information they may need.
In case your application was unsuccessful, it will help to ask the landlord why. You can use this information to make things right in your next application.