Looking For A Rental Property? Make Sure You Are Rental Ready!

Story Highlights
  • 1. Character
  • 2. Financial standing
  • 3. Additional requirements

Renting a property is becoming more and more difficult because landlords are becoming very thorough when it comes to who they let their property.

Due to the economic circumstance, this is not really that surprising!

There are many stories about tenants who simply do not pay their rent on time or who skip out on it completely. This has had a negative effect on landlords and has forced them to be more careful during the tenant-selecting process.

TPN’s Residential Rental Monitor stats have shown the financial strains on tenants and that it is reflected in their rent payments. About 7% of tenants did not pay their rent at all, 11% could only manage to pay part of the rent, and a further 17% of tenants paid their rent late.

In recent years, there have also been reports of a number of cases of rental scam and dubious tenants which has led to landlords and real estate agents to use more stringent vetting criteria when tenants apply for rental units.

What exactly do tenants then need to do in order to secure a rental unit?

Before even looking at real estate, tenants need to ensure that they have all the necessary documentation that they will need when applying. As soon as they are approved, they must be ready to sign the rental agreement in order to secure the unit in today’s competitive real estate market.

The more information and security a tenant can provide during the vetting process, the easier it will be to work through their rental application and the more likely it will be that they will be approved – if everything checks out, that is.

There are three main areas that prospective tenants should have covered:

1. Character

During the vetting process, the personal details and profile of the tenant will be carefully checked by an agent.

Tenants should, therefore, ensure that they obtain excellent references from previous landlords regarding their behavior, payment performance, and the way they looked after their unit.

If anything in your profile is tainted or negative, it can really set you back during the process and you might lose out on the perfect rental unit.

Remember to also list the correct numbers and addresses on your list of references. Failure to do so might seem like you are trying to con the landlord.

2. Financial standing

Prospective tenants need to ensure that they are in good financial standing. This is the base of the vetting process.

Comprehensive credit checks will be undertaken to ensure that a potential tenant will meet the full monthly rent payment. Tenants who have a sound financial history and who can prove that they have a good track record will have a greater chance of being approved.

From a financial perspective, it is also important for tenants to know that they can afford the unit. The amount of disposable income is important here, so tenants should try paying off as much of their debt as possible.

3. Additional requirements

When tenants submit a tenant application form, there might be additional documents that will be required.

These are usually copies of your South African ID book or passport, three to six months’ bank statements, and a recent payslip. These documents are always handy to carry because tenants can then immediately fill in an application form if they see a unit that they like.

Having access to a deposit is an added advantage that can also help tenants secure a unit quickly.

Even though renting has become tricky, it is a huge help if you have a good track record.  


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