Applying for rental properties: The do’s and dont’s.

Mar 18, 2019 8:00:00 AM Share this:

With rental housing continuing to experience unprecedented occupancy rates, it’s more important than ever to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward when looking and applying for a rental property.

The more prepared you are, the better the chance you will have in ensuring a tenancy agreement can be reached.  

Rentals.jpgFirst comes the initial contact and appointment. This can happen a number of ways. Consider though sending a thoughtful email to the Property Manager as the first point of contact. In it you can provide initial detail about yourself or your family and respond to various elements in the ad. Then, follow up with a phone call to make an appointment, if you haven’t received a call back already.

The appointment is not only your opportunity to see if the home will work for you but also to build a relationship with the Property Manager. This can be challenging if it is a group appointment as you may not get much face time with the Property Manager (see above). If it suits, ask for an application. You can always go to our website to retrieve it, but let the Property Manager know you’re submitting one.

When filling out your application, be sure to complete it in full, be honest, and ask if there’s something you’re not sure about. Remember, the Property Manager doesn’t know you but they’re doing their best based on the information you’ve provided to assess suitability and financial capability. You may then consider providing a profile and written references with your application. The more information you’ve prepared, the easier it will be to process and have an owner accept your tenancy.

In addition, know what’s on your own credit report (this can be done through each of the credit bureaus for free once a year). Sometimes these reports are incorrect so it’s worthwhile knowing what’s on record for you.

While these reports show debt and provide an opinion of credit risk, they don’t offer the complete story of financial capability. You may consider providing supplemental documentation, especially if you know you your credit is problematic or you don’t have much history in the country. This may come in the form of proof of income, identifying additional sources of income, a partial bank statement showing cheques that have cleared or a statement showing reserves. 

Remember when applying for a property, the more information you can provide, the faster your application can be processed and the faster you can find your new home!



Here’s some things you should consider before sending off your application.

DO: Consider writing a profile of yourself and include written references and other pertinent information that may help the Property Manager learn more about you.

DO:  Inform your referees that they may receive a call/email for a rental reference. And, follow them up with a thank you. You never know when you may need their help again or you can return the favour.

DO: Know what’s on your credit report.

DO: Use the viewing time to determine home suitability as well as build rapport with the Property Manager.

DON’T: Forget additional sources of income. The application only asks so much but if you have additional sources, it helps build a picture of financial capability. 

DON’T: Leave blanks on your application. This can slow down the process.  If you’re unsure about the consent you’re providing or anything else, ask the Property Manager before you submit your application. Incomplete or unconsented applications may result in your application being bypassed.

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Topics: Property Management, Renting, Rental Property, Applications

Being prepared for an emergency.

Mar 4, 2019 8:00:00 AM Share this:

Do you know what vital information to have on hand in the event of a natural disaster or
family emergency?

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Topics: Property Management, Advice, Insurance

Real Estate Investment: Getting Started

Sep 17, 2018 8:00:00 AM Share this:

It’s no secret that real estate is one of the most successful ways toward wealth creation, as a firm foundation in real estate can insure a successful financial future. However, knowing where to start can be daunting. Here are a few practical tips: 

Own your home
Choosing to own your home will no doubt benefit you in the long run, however it requires patience. Opposite of renting, your monthly payment is contributing to your own personal gain as opposed to making “empty” payments. Additionally, paying a mortgage for several years may allow you to purchase a new home with more favorable financing in the future. The return on investment comes into play when you are able to purchase a second home with better financing, in order to rent out your first home. You then enjoy an additional source of income.

Alternative investment
An easy way to get involved in real estate without actually owning, is through a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). There is no property management involved, rather, you own multiple properties through a trust. Investors can purchase shares, and as the property value increases, your share values increase as well. This is a great way to move your way into real estate slowly.

Look Outside Your Sphere
Logistically, it’s easier to set your focus on your local area, however a lot of investment opportunity lies outside your immediate reach. Consider outside booming markets, and also take into account that an investment takes time. Remember not to rush the process in seeking viable properties in other regions or states. Some of the best value comes from watching market trends across the country.

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Topics: Property Management, Finance, Advice

How to Deal with Troublesome Tenants 'Article for Landlords'

Feb 28, 2017 7:13:12 PM Share this:

Without tenants our investment properties start to lose their income potential and become another outgoing cost, but sometimes troublesome tenants can be more costly than a potential vacancy.

So what can you do to ensure any early issues that arise with your tenants don’t turn into a major headache down the road? Here are some steps you can take before troublesome tenants become unmanageable.

Speak with your property manager early
If your investment property is being managed by a property manager, then chances are they are the ones that have identified the issue. Once identified it’s best to try and resolve the problem early before the matter escalates. Depending on the type of problem, your property manager will be able to guide you on your options but will need you to make final decisions.

For example, if during a routine inspection, minor property damage is found at the fault of your tenant, your property manager will notify you and will also notify your tenants, asking them to rectify the issue at their cost in a specific timeframe. In cases where the damage is not rectified, your property manager will follow-up with the tenants on your behalf and if need be will guide you through the process of making a claim to have the cost reimbursed from the tenant’s bond, which is why it’s important to have the matter discussed as soon as possible as there are timeframes around this.

Note, the latter process has strict rules around it and it’s best to have a chat with your property manager or receive expert guidance on how to proceed.

Make sure everyone understands their obligations when it comes to rent 
As a landlord, you have entered into a legal contract with your tenant to exchange accommodation in return for payment. Make sure you’re clear that rent must be paid in full and when it’s to be paid i.e. make sure your tenant knows you won’t accept partial payments.

If your property is being property managed, your property manager will make this clear to the tenant from the outset, in writing. When it comes to rent that has fallen into arrears, there are things to consider before starting formal proceedings, again your property manager will guide you through this process and handle communication on your behalf.

Make sure you are getting regular property condition reports
Property managers know the ins and outs of property condition reporting and can perform these or organise to have them performed on your behalf. Property condition reports protect you from potential conflict with your tenants down the track by ensuring photos, and detailed descriptions are taken for the property at the start of a lease agreement. This means if any damage is found when the tenant moves on, you’re both protected by a condition report which can easily prove if the damage was existing or not.

Be prepared if a dispute does escalate
If an issue can’t be resolved, a property manager can appear on your behalf to provide evidence and handle complaints which are referred to an administrative tribunal.

Property managers are required to keep detailed records of an agreement, inspections and even conversations, all of which are helpful when disputes escalate.

If you are managing your investment property yourself, it’s also a good idea to ensure you keep track of notes made during inspections and conversations.


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Topics: Property Management, Landlords, Tenants

How homeowners can help reduce fire dangers

Oct 27, 2015 5:37:18 PM Share this:

As SA continues to experience its worst drought in decades, runaway fires are taking an increasing toll on people, animals and properties around the country – and farmers and foresters are not the only ones who need to be better prepared, says Richard Gray, CEO of Harcourts Real Estate.

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Topics: Property Management, Property Tips, Maintenance

How to assess your student accommodation options

Oct 21, 2015 8:51:32 PM Share this:

With the matric exams just around the corner and thousands of learners hoping to start university or college next year, this is the time of year that many parents start thinking about where those students are going to live.

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Topics: Property Management, Renting