Brisbane renters

Courier Mail 16/6/22

A Brisbane renter claiming to be the “perfect” tenant has begged landlords for tips on how to secure a property in the tightest rental market in years.

The renter turned to Reddit this week to ask: “Landlords of Brisbane, what the f**k are you looking for?”.

They said they had seen “genuinely good tenants” knocked back despite having high incomes, a perfect rental history and offering above asking price.

“So what’s the go? What does it take to not be homeless these days? What are you looking for?” the post read.

Experienced renters, landlords and property managers replied with plenty of advice.

Most property viewings in Brisbane are now full with people lining up outside just to have a look. Picture: Richard Walker

Many said first in, best dressed was the way to go, while others said property managers were more likely to favour those wanting longer leases, including people with children.

“Asked one the other day and they said one reason owners would lean towards people with kids if it’s near a school as they are guaranteed to stick around for at least 6-7 years,” wrote one commenter.

“Higher income people are usually saving to buy, so only stick around for a bit til they buy their own place. More annoying to have to re-rent a place every couple of years than have a family there for yonks.”

However, most said the key was standing out by impressing the property manager or real estate agent at the open house.

“My brother is a property manager and he said property managers do present all the applicants, however when there are more than a few really good options they may recommend one in particular, and if they do, that one usually gets chosen,” wrote another commenter.

“He said PMs usually do that if they really like an applicant, so I think taking time to chat with the person running the inspection can go a long way.”

Real Estate Institute of Queensland CEO Antonia Mercorella said the tenant selection process was based on two key criteria.

“Firstly, they assess the applicant’s financial capacity to service the rent and meet the other financial obligations under the tenancy agreement,” she said.

“It’s important for tenants to provide financial information to demonstrate this, such as proof of employment, pay slips, and bank statements.”

How to make your rental application stand out

  • Make sure the rental payments represent about 30 per cent of your earnings
  • Provide past rental history and positive references
  • Present yourself well at the viewing
  • Make yourself known to the property manager and make a good impression
  • Apply quickly
  • Apply for a longer tenancy (12 months over six months)

As a rule of thumb, Ms Mercorella said rent should account for about 30 per cent of the applicant’s earnings.

Secondly, property managers look at how prospective tenants will take care of the property.

“This is why it’s important to provide documentation that demonstrates past rental history and provides positive references to confirm these records,” Ms Mercorella said.

“By having all your supporting documentation and verifiable information prepared, it not only allows you to act swiftly to apply, it also helps your application to stand out and makes assessing and progressing your rental application far easier.”

Ms Mercorella said it was always a good idea to treat a rental application like a job interview and attend the viewing looking neat and tidy.

But in the tight market, many people were missing out simply because the market was so competitive.

“Given how incredibly tight the rental market is, you may need to be a bit more flexible, perhaps considering a cotenancy agreement which allows you to look at a higher-price bracket property that would otherwise be outside of your budget if you were applying alone, or compromising on conveniences of location or the type of property you apply for,” Ms Mercorella said.

“By doing your research, you can better understand which areas have more choice within your budget in today’s market which may help to focus your search.”