How to strengthen your rental application

1 June 2024

It’s no secret that Perth’s rental market is facing unprecedented demand and record low vacancy rates, with buyer competition, in some cases, resulting in offers of sky-high rents.

In March, Perth’s rental vacancy rate hit an all-time low of 0.4%, but that stabilised in April, according to the Real Estate Institute of WA.

Despite the steady vacancy rate in April, rents grew strongly year-on-year. The median unit rent recorded the most growth, up 20% since April 2023, while the median house rent rose 13%.

May figures show the median weekly house rents were $650 a week, while units were sitting at $600 a week.

With the current rental climate in mind, the team at Mont has compiled some suggestions about how to strengthen your rental application and give yourself the best chance of securing the rental property you want.

Knowledge is power

Understanding WA’s new rental reforms will stand you in good stead when it comes to putting in the strongest rental application in the current tight market.

In April, the WA Parliament passed a raft of new rental reforms as part of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2024.

The changes give tenants stronger rights than ever before, including a ban on ‘rent bidding’ and allowing pets and minor modifications without approval. More information is available here.

Money talks

While ‘rent bidding’ is now prohibited in WA, it is not unlawful for a rental applicant to offer more than the advertised rental price if they wish to.

The new laws prevent homeowners and real estate agents from inviting prospective tenants to offer more than an advertised rental price to beat the competition and secure a lease – but there are no rules that stop applicants from making a higher offer.

Properties must be advertised at a set amount and cannot include a price range, or ‘rent from’ figure.

Landlords and property managers who fail to comply with these laws may face penalties of up to $10,000, or $50,000 for a corporation.

Face-to-face

In the current leasing market, it’s highly likely that there will be a long line of competitors also vying for the same rental property.

If you really want to make a strong impression, take the time to introduce yourself to the agent in person. If your approach is genuine, this basic interaction will help put a face and name to your application, and may give you an advantage when the agent is shortlisting the long list of applicants.

Supporting documents

Save the leasing agent the trouble of following up to request additional information and include any supporting documentation with your rental application that you think will improve your chances of securing the home.

Adding supplementary items like pay slips, work details, a letter from your employer, proof of a strong rental history, and good references will provide ready evidence that you may just be the perfect tenant for the property.

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