Top 5 ways to win the rental


Stand Out


The top five ways to win the rental seem the obvious discussion to start 2023. The rental market is exploding with often hundreds of people applying and many asking what they can do to be selected.



Reading through applications gives an insight into the motivation and rental fit. As agents, we need to select applicants that meet the essential and desired criteria of the landlord but there are some qualities that percolate to the top of the list. Tenants that carefully refer to issues that a landlord would be concerned about immediately indicates empathy.



The other value the cover letter has is what type of landlord you are getting too. A landlord that relates to your letter is most likely a match and missing out might be a good thing. Sometimes you are not successful because of the landlord’s plans. Nothing at all to do with you.



Consumer Affairs Victoria clearly outlines the rental application process and it is a good idea to go through that before you fill out an application. The application checklist is where you can stand out simply by fully addressing that you would clearly be the best applicant.


If we dissect the checklist, you can consider what you can offer that will give you an edge. The top five ways are all in the cover letter because it is your personal pitch.



The top five ways to win the rental are:


  • Address the checklist points specifically.


  • Provide as much evidence as possible.


  • Demonstrate you have considered issues outside the points.


  • Outline your need for that particular property.


  • Relate to landlord fears.



The application checklist



A cover letter is essential at present because of the insane competition. Addressing the application checklist is where you provide information that is unique to you and that you feel will appeal to the landlord.



The application checklist has some points that are clearly instructional and cannot be added to. These include:


  • reading through and completing the rental application form;


  • list all people who will be living at the property;


  • ensuring you can pay the bond (usually the same amount as one month’s rent) along with the first month’s rent and


  • signing and giving back to the agent or rental provider the completed application form with all required attachments.



The other points offer the opportunity for you to stand out.



List any pets that will be living at the property. Simply listing the pets does not let the rental provider know what your pets are like or how you care for them. Pets are clearly a matter of concern for landlords because of potential damage and noise. Australians love their pets but not all pet owners are responsible. Many dog owners do not walk or engage with their dogs and these animals can bark or dig from boredom causing problems.



Having pets, particularly dogs, can not only have an impact on the property dogs can affect neighbours. In the cover letter, you should address what your dog is like and how you control their behaviour. You should also outline how if there is a problem how you would address it.



For example, an owner of a house with polished floorboards might be concerned about dog claws. If you state that you are aware of this as a potential concern and provide a solution to protect the floors the landlord can see you are responsible. That may be that the dog is an outside dog or that you will put down rugs. Describing your attitude toward your pets also gives insight into noise, care for the property, other people’s needs and lifestyle. Ironically, the very issue that can concern many landlords is the one that says so much about what to expect overall.



Include all details of your rental referees. This is another opportunity – especially for first-time renters – to demonstrate character. A list of people that have faith in you may alleviate the fears a landlord may have. Remember the landlord does not know you and you are trying to establish trust. Addressing the trust issue demonstrates that you understand the landlord’s risk. The landlord has no idea what you are like – you are dynamic the property is not. The referees need to outline and provide examples of how you are responsible and trustworthy.



Examples relating to being prompt and considerate are the dynamics all landlords appreciate. So, if you are punctual ensure you have a referee that highlights this. A referee that outlines how you are considerate of other people’s needs demonstrates you will not dismiss the concerns of say neighbours etc. Endorsements of your character are always important for the landlord because that is all they can choose from. The ability to pay is important but most landlords will keep a great tenant over getting more rent. It is that trust that is most coveted and that creates harmony.



Provide information about your employment. Here you may need to highlight issues that are not as obvious as history. You may love the property because it is located close to your work. Outline the reasons that are essential for you. Or the layout of the house allows you to work from home or that the house tech is excellent.



Clearly, you can detail your length of tenure at your current job and that indicates your stability or that you have character references if your employer does not fit the traditional model or full-time. The landlord can see here that you could potentially be long-term. That sometimes is a reason they do not choose people too and you want to know that even if it is annoying.



Rental references are clearly important for landlords but you can highlight what made your last relationship so successful. If you knew your last landlord that could be a big plus. You may have had a friendly relationship that indicates you are approachable. Or you may have had an arm’s length relationship that was able to endure issues during covid. Interaction indicates good communication and that builds trust.



Putting it altogether



When putting a cover letter together you need to address the issues. The first heading is the address then you simply highlight the Application List issues and address them specifically. No need to write a story the landlord just wants to know how you will both get along. The Consumer Affairs points are what tenants and landlords identify with. Using the points as a heading directs your responses then refer to the top five points in your answers.



Landlords just want the asset protected and cared for and rent paid on time. Problems occur when either party breaches their obligations and that cover letter helps both parties.