9 tips to win over your future landlord

Private Property South Africa
Carmel Woodman

Beat the competition for that rental home of your dreams with our top tips for creating a lasting impression on the prospective landlord.

Ever had your application for a rental home denied? There is stiff competition among tenants vying for the same property, particularly in highly sought after areas, and you need to put your best foot forward in order to win over a potential landlord. Here’s our advice on how to make sure you give yourself the best shot at securing the rental home you really want:

Look sharp

Dress your best when going to view the property. No, we aren’t talking about a suit and tie, but it’s a good idea to look neat and tidy. In other words, don’t turn up in shorts and flip flops, but rather opt for smarter, modest clothing. If a landlord sees that you can take care of yourself, they may take this as a sign that you’ll do a good job at taking care of their property.

Time is of the essence

Be on time for your viewing - no landlord will appreciate you being late. It makes a bad impression off the bat and could result in the landlord being less likely to select you as their tenant. If you’re the first tenant to be at the property, ready and waiting with a smile on your face, that will make a great impression for the landlord.

Rental resume

When the competition is fierce and you need to bring your A game, having a rental resume could do wonders to speed up your application. Your rental resume should include details on: yourself and other housemates who may be living with you on the property, your education (schooling and tertiary), your job, your salary, your rental history, your references and contact details. This can be given to the landlord at once and may help you get to the top of their list, as your information is readily on hand.

Honesty is the best policy

Be honest, particularly about any financial issues, judgments or credit issues that may have occurred. Your landlord will most likely follow up on your credit record anyway, so if you have anything that they should know rather be upfront about it. Landlords will appreciate your honesty, and would prefer that than getting a nasty surprise when they investigate your credit record.

Pet resume

If you have a pet, make a pet resume for your landlord so that they can get to know your furry friend. You should include: what type of pet it is, a photograph of your pet, as well as information on its behavior and temperament. The more information your application contains, the easier and quicker it is for the landlord to assess.

First impressions count

Be friendly! Don’t be afraid to ask questions and engage with the landlord. Landlords generally prefer people to ask questions, as it shows that they know what they want and they’ve thought it through. Try to connect with the landlord, greet them with a smile at your viewing and be memorable. Friendly tenants give off a better impression, and this will make you more memorable to the landlord, when they’re going through applications later on.

Blow your own horn

It’s a good idea to highlight the things that make you a good tenant. Your new landlord doesn’t know you, so telling them why you’d be a good tenant is better than handing them an application and hoping that would do the trick. Things like compliments from old landlords, never missing a rental payment and loving a neat home would be good things to tell a future landlord. These bits of information show that you’re going to be a stable tenant who looks after the property.

Think ahead

Most landlords will do a credit check on potential tenants, so why not pull your own credit report and be able to present it, along with your other documentation at the viewing. You can show the landlord that you have nothing to hide, and that you’re happy to produce your credit report immediately.

Have the cash

Make sure you have enough money in the bank to be able to pay the deposit and first month’s rent for your rental home, before you even start looking at properties. There’s nothing more embarrassing that not having the funds to pay for the deposit, should you find a place and want to secure it. Being able to pay the deposit quickly, will be imperative to securing your perfect rental home.

Following our advice will go a long way to impressing any landlord. Once you’ve established yourself as a strong candidate, you’re well on your way to acquiring your perfect rental home. Remember, speed can be your biggest ally when you apply for a rental property, so make sure you have your ducks in a row.

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