Getting an apartment in Sydney

Finding your apartment in Sydney (and probably other places) in today’s rental market is a nightmare. People are literally lining up for property viewings, applying by the dozens, and in a lot of instances doing literally whatever it takes to get properties.

I viewed a property on Saturday with two friends, applied on Saturday and had the property secured by Tuesday. The reasons I was able to secure the property so quickly are two fold. And both of the attributes you have complete control over.

The two things that are absolutely vital to a good and quick rental application are a solid rental history and an excellent application. The rental history should already be taken care of if you’re a good tenant, but I will share some tips for an excellent application that were given to me by a 20-year veteran property manager.

  1. Be prepared – download applications from the real estate agents website or go to their premises and retrieve them, and have them filled out well before you even go to the property. Don’t be sitting outside trying to think of referees or rental histories, it’s not going to work.
  2. Be really prepared – have everything ready; your bond, your first month of rent and photo copies of relevant paperwork (drivers license, birth certificate, etc. etc.)
  3. Cover letter – they’re not just for job hunting; write the property manager a letter telling him about yourself and your situation. In our case there were 3 guys applying and we wrote a letter to make it very clear that we weren’t looking for a “party house” and that we are three professional guys.
  4. Introduce yourself – the property manager is potentially showing the house to dozens and dozens of potential tenants – in our case it was apparently over 200 people. Introduce yourself, hand in your application and cover letter while you’re there. This makes you front of mind right from the start.
  5. Follow up – don’t hand in an application and forget about it. Call the property manage and ask how the applications are going, ask if he needs any more information and remind him that you have all the relevant documents and the money ready to go. E-mails are a great follow up too as it prompts a response always
  6. Hedge your bets – you’ve maximised your chances of getting the property, now maximise your chances of getting any property that you’re interested in. You will like more than one property, so apply to more than one property. It’s like cheating; it’s okay if she’s doing it, right?
  7. Be polite – common sense, but I’ve heard of guys getting really upset over the property, this just won’t do anyone any favours.
  8. Have support – make sure all your references are prepared and your housemates (if any) are ready to go. Also, it helps if you’re a little younger your parents are on your side (thanks mum)!

I hope this helps anyone looking for a property and explains perhaps where you’ve been going wrong in your applications. It’s a tough market and you have to treat every application very seriously and maximise your chances of finding that dream apartment.