Tips for first-time renters: How to get your name on a lease
Securing your very first lease can be a daunting task, especially if you lack the references and know-how. But everyone was a first-time renter once – so how do you stand out from the crowd of applicants? We’re here to help you with tips for first-time renters to help get you into your new home.
Once you’ve confirmed who your housemates will be (if any) it’s time to figure out the logistics. What is your price range? What features can none of you live without? Are four of you willing to share one bathroom? Knowing exactly what you’re looking for will keep the animosity out of your friendship as you start hunting for the right property.
While you’re still in the planning stages, look at major property listing sites and sign up to their property alert emails where you can get specific about your requirements. That way you can apply for your home as soon as it becomes available. While you’re at it, start networking with your local real estate agents’ property managers so they can help you find a property that meets your needs.
Then when you’ve found the house you like, it’s time to start applying. Here are our top tips to get you on track:
Organisation is everything
Make sure all your application forms and additional documents are in order before applying. If you’ve provided everything in a timely manner, you’ll be right at the top of the pile and agents won’t have to spend hours following up missing documents. Getting your application in early is also important – be ready to apply with your hard copies at the inspection, or online directly after. If you’re renting with a group of people, consider assigning the management to one person they have everything ready to go.
The proof is in the paperwork
Just because you don’t have recent leasing references doesn’t mean you have nothing to offer as proof that you’re an eligible candidate. Compile a few documents that detail your financial stability to show that you can and do pay things on time, and that you have sufficient funds to ensure the landlord won’t be left out of pocket.
We recommend sharing bank records that show direct deposits or payment plans for things like education, mobile phone plans, car loan repayments, credit cards or insurance. Work references, salary slips and employment contracts are great proof points too.
Have a back-up plan
If you’re a new renter, work part time, or are missing the documentation to prove that you can pay rent each month, having a guarantor will hold you in good stead. Your guarantor is essentially a financial back-up plan to prove to the landlord that someone will come through with the rent in the instance that you can’t (parents are a great option). Your guarantor will need to provide financial records and proof of ID alongside your application.
Let them get to know you better
References can come in various forms: get statements from workplaces or even long-term friends and family to detail your character and how well you look after your living and working spaces. And most importantly, don’t be shy. Make your voice heard at the inspection, ask questions, and show the agents that you’re interested.
Tackling your first rental application may appear hard, but if you follow these steps, you’ll be sure to be on top of the candidate list. If you get stuck, expert agents are just a call away – get in touch with your local hockingstuart office who will be happy to answer your questions.