With tenancy applications flying thick and fast for virtually every reasonably priced property, what’s a tenant to do?
For someone that primarily works in sales, I seem to be doing a lot of talking about the rental market at the moment, but it’s a topic that is coming up time after time, even when selling.
It might be a buyer whose lease is coming up and is in the market for their first purchase. It could be a tenant whose home has just been listed for sale and is frantically looking for new accommodation, or an investor wanting to get a better gauge on likely rental demand (hint – its high), whatever the source it’s the topic on everyone’s lips.
A quick search on realestate.com.au this week yielded some daunting (though not unexpected) numbers. A search for a house of any description, at any price, from Palm Cove to Babinda, yielded just 82 properties available NOW. Put in a cap of $500 per week and that drops to 55 options, a number of which you would rule out pretty quickly – one didn’t have a roof.
With tenancy applications flying thick and fast for virtually every reasonably priced property, what’s a tenant to do? Well, there is some creativity coming through in the marketplace (something that pressure does seem to encourage) though these tactics will unfortunately remain out of reach for many of those most in need.
In a crowded market of substantially similar applicants (good rental history, solid employment etc.) there are those offering more to raise their applications above the rest. Whether its $10, $20 (or even more) extra per week, for those that are facing crunch time the extra $500 or $1,000 spread out over the course of a year starts to seem a pretty reasonable premium just to secure a home. As a tenant thinking about this, you do still need to be careful that this doesn’t push the rent above your affordability threshold as this could backfire on those that are otherwise borderline. Important to note here, that this needs to be tenant driven – an agent has to advertise a specific rental price (not a range) and cannot induce a prospective tenant to overbid. There are no letting “auctions”.
Others are crowdsourcing their search, with facebook groups frequently seeking accommodation for members – whether it’s a hot tip on a new “for lease” sign or someone’s aunt’s cousin’s bestie that has a granny flat coming up.
Whatever your method, there is one thing for sure – if you’re renting in this market, be quick.