How to ace your rental application

Larissa Gardner
3 min read

Trying to find a rental property can be exciting, stressful, exhausting and just down right hard work at times. If zig zagging all over town on your Saturday mornings trying to get to twelve inspections within a four-hour window doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, you’ll want to get your rental applications right first time round.

So once you do find a place that ticks all your boxes, you want to put your best foot forward on your rental application and impress the agent to make the property yours ASAP.

 Apartment for rent: 9/49 Tintern Avenue, Toorak, VIC. Apartment for rent: 9/49 Tintern Avenue, Toorak, VIC.

Our five tips to ace your next rental application:

Get organised

First things first, you need to get yourself, your housemates or partner organised BEFORE you head to all the inspections you’ve got teed up. Time is of the essence when you’re competing with 10 other couples that probably have impeccable rental history, 5 perfect references on stand by and their bond at the ready.

To make life as easy as possible for the agent you should have copies of all the relevant documents ready to give to them on the day and have your answers for the application form ready too. It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with a rental application form first to avoid any mistakes on the day. You can often request a form from the agent before the inspection to pre fill and easily submit on the day.

The documents you’ll typically need to submit with your application need to add up to at least 100 points of identification and can be made up of:

  • Primary photo ID: worth 50 points (E.g. Driver’s licence, Passport, Keypass, Proof of Age).
  • Secondary ID: worth 30 points (E.g. Birth Certificate, Student ID Card, Medicare Card, Vehicle Registration, Health Care Card).
  • Rental history/ proof of address: worth 30 points (Rental Receipts, Signed Lease, Utility Bill, Bank Statements, Rental Reference).
  • Employment/ Proof of Income is worth 20 points (Payslips, Letter of Employment, Employment Reference).

Show enthusiasm

If you really love a place and are genuinely interested in a property show it. Make a good first impression by arriving on time to the inspection, introducing yourself to the agent and asking questions about the property that weren’t made clear by the listing ad (i.e. how long is the lease, when is it available from and parking permits in the area). Tell the agent specifically what you like about the place and when you can move in. If the agent receives a lot of applications, they may remember your enthusiasm, eagerness to move in and genuine interest in the property when it comes to selecting a tenant and move your application to the top of the pile.

Sweeten the deal

Reference letters from your past landlords are a valuable document to submit along with your application as they assure the agent and your future landlord that you’re trustworthy and a model tenant. Rental ledgers are also a highly regarded document that illustrate your reliability and consistency in paying rent on time to agents.

Another way to make your application appealing to the agent and landlord is to offer to pay two or three months rent in advance. This illustrates that you’re smart with money and have healthy savings giving them reassurance about your financial position. Better yet, if you really fall for a place offer to pay more rent every month than the listed price, even if it’s just $25 or $50 more this will make you stand out in a landlord’s mind.       


Make sure you check with your current landlord and all of your personal and professional references before you submit your application including their personal contact details. Confirm that they’re all comfortable with being a reference and that they’ll be available to receive a call from an agent in the coming days.

Follow up

Two or three days after you’ve submitted your application shoot the agent an email or give them a call to check in on the progress of your application and gauge the level of interest they have received. To get in the agent’s good graces and at the very least make sure they know your name, let them know that you’re very interested in the property and that you’re more than happy to provide any further information or answer any questions they may have. A quick call or brief email will help put you front of mind when they’re reviewing the applications and remind them of your sincere interest and can-do attitude.

If you’re application is successful make sure you’re prepared to pay the bond straight away and first month’s rent, and you’re available to go in to sign the lease.

Happy house hunting!

From the Homely Team

Larissa Gardner
Larissa Gardner is the Marketing Manager at arguably Australia’s best looking real estate website With a superb devotion to product innovation, user-centred design and innovative marketing platforms for real estate agents, helps millions of Australians find their next home.

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