How to make your rental application stand out

Damian CollinsSponsored
REIWA President Damian Collins.
Camera IconREIWA President Damian Collins. Credit: The West Australian.

With Western Australia currently experiencing a rental shortage, competition amongst tenants to secure a rental property is high. Therefore, a standout rental application is a necessity.

It is important to fill out your application as honestly and thoroughly as possible. Forgetting to add a reference, giving incorrect contact details or leaving sections blank could be the difference between you and someone else getting the property.

An application is basically your resume for renting, therefore you should have a list of documents ready to submit with your application, including a copy of your identification such as a driver’s licence or proof of age card.

Ask for written references and attach them to your application. Also ensure your referees are aware you have put them down, so when the property manager calls they are prepared.

You will need to verify your income and current employment to prove you can pay rent. You can do this by adding a letter from your manager or human resources department confirming your employment and attaching your most recent payslips.

Your rental history is also very important. If you have rented a property before, be sure to obtain written references from your previous property managers confirming you are a good tenant and have always paid rent on time. If you haven’t rented before, explain why, so the property manager understands your circumstances.

Presentation of an application is important, even in electronic format. Make sure to have all documents scanned neatly and opening the right way, so when the property manager opens the document they can read the items easily.

You should also consider using a short cover letter, as it shows you are interested and willing to go above and beyond what the average applicant may be doing. Make sure to include the reasons that make you a good tenant and how you are a suitable fit for the property.

For those who have pets, consider a pet resume for the property manager, including a small written summary on your pet’s nature, personality and appearance, references from people who have lived with your pet and necessary documentation that proves your pet is microchipped and registered under your name.

If you are unsure of where to start or need more advice on applying for a rental property, make sure to view the rental section on or alternatively contact a REIWA property manager.

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