Expert tips to secure your rental home

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The rental market crisis has had a profound impact globally, and Melbourne is certainly no exception.

20 February 2024

The intense competition to secure a rental home in and around the city has created significant challenges for renters. 

The rental crisis is primarily driven by a scarcity of available rental properties, resulting from multiple factors. These include a decline in investor activity due to rising interest rates, a reduction in the number of new developments, and a trend of individuals returning to urban areas after relocating to regional locations during the pandemic. Further exacerbating the issue is the influx of returning migrants and international students, adding to demand for rental properties, particularly in Australia’s major cities. 

On the demand side, Grattan Institute’s economic policy program director, Brendan Coates says a shift toward living in smaller households has also contributed to the extraordinary tightness in rental markets. “In a hybrid work world, people want more space to themselves,” he said. (Source: Financial Review

Rental prices in Melbourne have experienced a significant surge, with apartments witnessing a 15% increase over the past year, while vacancy rates have declined, with Melbourne currently sitting at 1.2%. These factors certainly make for a challenging situation for many people; however, the Marshall White Property Management team is here to provide advice on how to maximise your chances of securing your rental home. 

  • Start Early: Begin your property search well ahead of time. This will provide you with ample opportunity to assess the market. 
  • Set a Realistic Budget: Considering Melbourne’s competitive rental market, it’s important to know what you can afford and be ready to negotiate if necessary. 
  • Be Flexible: You may have an ideal location in mind, but being flexible about the areas you’re willing to consider can increase your chances of securing a rental property. 
  • Prepare and submit your application in advance: Ensure you have an application completed ahead of the inspection with all necessary documents and submit via the real estate agency’s application platform. 
  • Show Financial Stability: Rental providers want to know that you can pay your rent on time. Provide evidence of stable employment and savings to strengthen your application. 
  • Obtain references: Ask your current property manager for a reference and a copy of your rental history to demonstrate your timely past rent payments. Inform any additional referees that you are house hunting. 
  • Make a Good Impression: Treat the property inspection like a job interview. Be punctual, dress appropriately, and be polite to the agent or property manager. Ask the agent if you can measure the space to avoid unnecessary return visits. 
  • Communicate Effectively: Keep the lines of communication open with the real estate agent. Follow up your application with a phone call or email to show you’re keen and responsible. 

By following our Property Management team’s recommendations, you can put your best foot forward and increase your chance of success in this competitive rental market.