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Are You a First Time Tenant and Need a Reference?

Are You a First Time Tenant and Need a Reference?

By Sarah Lefebvre on Sep 13 2019
Tagged as:
  • Investing
  • Renting


Many Australians choose to rent for a period of time before buying a house. However, if you're an individual who hasn't rented a property before, you may feel a bit stuck without references from previous landlords.

If you understand why references are required, you can tailor your application to rent accordingly - even if you've never rented before.
 

Demonstrating you are a good tenant

Are You a First-Time Tenant?

Many Australians choose to rent for a period of time before buying a house. However, if you're an individual who hasn't rented a property before, you may feel a bit stuck without references from previous landlords.

However, everyone has to start somewhere. The good news is that you can still demonstrate that you would make a good tenant.

If you understand why references are required, you can tailor your application to rent accordingly - even if you've never rented before!
 

What is a Reference?

A reference is simply a letter or document that vouches for your ability to meet your financial commitments, be depended on and can be trusted.

A reference needs to be written by someone that is associated with you ideally this would be a previous/current landlord but alternatively can be written by your boss, colleague, roommate or even your neighbours.

The purpose of a reference is to provide your potential future landlord an idea of who you are and what they can expect if they were to have you as a tenant at their property.
 

A Sense of Security

Landlords want to keep their investments in good condition. While they have certain obligations when it comes to maintenance, some responsibility falls on the tenant, too.

For instance, you will need to keep a property in clean and tidy condition as a tenant. Whether you've been living under your parents' roof or in a student hostel, you've likely experienced rules relating to general household tidiness at some point or another.

You'll need to ensure your bathroom gets appropriate airflow to avoid mould, tidy up any spills and avoid damage to the flooring, walls or fittings.

Your landlord will also appreciate being informed of any maintenance issues that arise in a prompt manner. For instance, if you notice a leak, be sure to get in touch with them straight away. This allows them to remedy any problems in a timely manner, both for your own enjoyment of the property and to avoid a problem compounding into a bigger issue.
 

How to Obtain Property as a First-Time Renter

Even though you haven't rented a home before, it's still possible to rent a property for the first of time.

While references from previous landlords are requested, that's not to say you can't demonstrate your trustworthiness in other ways.

You need to show that you can pay your rent on time, take care of the property and meet the terms of the tenancy agreement.

If you can show that you're responsible, tidy and have a good history of paying bills on time, you're on track to renting your first home. Even though you can't provide a reference from a previous landlord, there are plenty of other documents that can put you in good steed.

For instance, verification of your employment or regular income assures your landlord or property manager you'll pay rent on time, while a record of regular mobile phone bill payments are also helpful.

If you've been living in a student hostel, you could offer a reference from the complex manager.

References from your employer or manager can demonstrate your sense of responsibility, while references from teachers, neighbours or even your doctor can help bolster your application.

Renting for the first time can be an exciting but stressful experience. To help set you up for success, the team of experts at LJ Hooker have put together a comprehensive list of FAQs to get any first time renter up to speed and ready to move in.

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