Most people in the rental market get rejected from a property at some stage, so don’t be discouraged. Depending on where you live and what your budget is, the Melbourne rental market can be incredibly tough. So, here are our top 10 tips on how to avoid rental application rejection:


#1 Make sure you have all the correct documentation

In such a competitive market, it can help to apply for the perfect property right then and there at the inspection. Check with the real estate agent in advance so you’re prepared with all the correct documentation. In most instances you’ll need references, the completed application form, pet references from a veterinarian if applicable, pay slips or proof of employment, photo ID and a cover letter. Make sure you have these documents copied and ready to submit to the agent because they aren’t going to wait around while you duck to the newsagent to make a photocopy of your ID!


#2 Organise your housemates

If you’re moving in with friends, it can be hard to organise everyone. Although your housemates don’t have to attend the property inspection, it is preferable and can save problems down the line. Even if they don’t inspect the property, each housemate does need to submit a full and completed application with references. If you have a complete set of documentation for all members of the household, you’ve got a better chance of being on the top of the pile.


#3 Be on time

If you come rushing up the street 15 minutes after the inspection has started, it’s not going to make a good first impression. If you’re waiting outside the rental property and you greet the real estate agent with a lovely big smile, that’s the first impression you want them to take in. Be first and be memorable. It will make a huge difference.


#4 Be presentable at the inspection

Always look your best when going in for rental inspections. You don’t have to wear a suit, but it’s important to look presentable. It shows you’re keen to secure the property and that you’re taking the application process seriously.


#5 Clean your car

It’s not just you that needs to look presentable at rental inspections. This goes for your car too. You may think it’s unnecessary, but agents notice these kinds of things – if your car is dirty and messy, they may assume you treat your home the same way.


#6 Be charming

A lot of people find rental inspections overwhelming, but it’s really not the time to be shy. Have a chat to the agent, comment on how great they are for making time to show you the property, ask them how they got into real estate – just have a conversation with them about their own lives. People love to talk about themselves, so ask a few friendly questions and be a good listener – they’ll remember you and might favour your application.


#7 Make your application as uncomplicated as possible

Only submit the necessary documents. It’s fine to have additional documents you think you might need on hand, but only submit what the agent asks for. Agents may have several applications to process, so it’s also recommended to let your references know they may receive a call about your application, so please have the necessary information at the ready.


#8 Be honest

There’s absolutely no point in lying about anything. That includes pets, potential housemates or your salary. If you have a black spot on your resume, the best thing to do is to be completely candid about it. The same goes for ‘white lies,’ for example if you earn $32,000, don’t round up to $40,000 – tell the agent exactly how much you earn. Transparency is a must right from the beginning.


#9 Be desirable

It’s important to put your best foot forward, so try to highlight all those things that make you an attractive tenant. Make mention of the fact you’ve been with your company for the past five years or that you own your car. Remark upon how much you enjoy gardening or highlight any trade skills that’ll help show how you’ll maintain or improve the property. Demonstrate that you’re good with money and are largely reliable. Landlords want reassurance that you’ll look after their property and pay rent on time.


#10 Follow up

If you’ve submitted an application and you haven’t heard anything 48 hours later, send a follow up email to the agent. Let them know you’re very interested in the property and that you’re happy to provide any additional information or references they might need. They may well be trying to decide between your application and another candidate and if they receive a pleasant message from you, it might just put you at the top of their list.


If you’re trying to break into the rental market, you may also be interested in FAQs for Tenants.