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Improve Your Chances of Getting a Rental Property – Part 1

It’s a hot topic in Christchurch at the moment: the shortage of rental property in Christchurch. Property for rent is in high demand after many properties have been red-zoned and people have to relocate temporarily in order for repair works to get underway. But with sometimes hundreds of people showing up for viewings, how can you improve your chances to get your hands on a property for rent?

At Bayleys Property Management our experienced Property Managers know that it’s not just about the rental price bidding war. To make your rental property hunt easier, we have put some industry insiders and tips together so you can improve your chances of getting that rental. In the first part we tell you what to do, and in the second part we tell you what NOT to do. Good luck!

  1. Do use all options available to find a property that’s right for you: register for property alerts so you’re in early, check websites frequently and keep your eyes peeled for our signs at the side of the road.
  2. Be quick. The latest Trade Me Property Report, for example, shows that listings for rental properties in Christchurch are only online for a mere 6 days or less before they’re snatched up. So if you see a rental that appeals, act fast.
  3. Read the advert carefully BEFORE you contact the Property Manager for further info. The listing should state term, pets, viewing times and whether the property is furnished/unfurnished. Therefore, it’s not a good look if you, for example, ask about viewing times although they are stated in the advert. If you have questions which aren’t answered in the property listing, aim to keep them short and to the point so the Property Manager can deal with your query efficiently.
  4. Be flexible to attend viewings (this is really key at the moment!).  Be prepared to organise a baby sitter, take time off work or attend viewings during your break. This not only shows your commitment, but being organised also takes the pressure off and makes it easier to arrive on time and not having to rush off.
  5. Always show up on time for the viewing. Property Managers and landlords are after reliable tenants and being late doesn’t put you in a good light.
  6. If you like the rental property, apply. Don't think just because there are dozens of other people there you don't have a chance.
  7. Come prepared – have a completed application form for every adult tenant and copies of photo ID with you. Don’t give the Property Manager or landlord a reason to put your application at the bottom of the pile just because some critical information is missing!
  8. Make sure the application is signed and that all previous landlord and reference phone numbers are accurate and up to date. If you don’t provide contact numbers, your application will move to the bottom of the list.
  9. Treat your application like a job application: include a cover letter, outlining who you are, what you do, the dynamics of your group, your qualities etc.
  10. Be honest! If there is something in your background that may negatively impact your application, give details in the cover letter.
  11. Make things easy for the Property Manager and landlord.  For example, if the property comes with a nice garden and you don't like gardening, tell the Property Manager and ask them if a gardener can be included and the rent adjusted accordingly. We'd much prefer a proactive approach instead of having the tenancy deteriorate.
  12. It’s always a bonus if you have contents and indemnity insurance which covers third-party damage which may be caused to the property.
  13. It pays to be flexible with regards to rent payments (generally weekly or fortnightly).
  14. Most importantly, always be a good tenant. Quality references from Property Managers (and to a lesser extent from private landlords) are like gold when you are applying for your next rental property in Christchurch. This includes little things like:

            a. Paying your rent on time and in advance.
            b. Making an effort for routine inspections.
            c. Reporting maintenance when it is needed.
            d. Making an extra effort at the end of the tenancy and, if necessary, asking your Property Manager which cleaner/gardener
                they would recommend for the final house/garden clean-up.