How to find and secure a rental property on the Gold Coast
Low supply and increased interstate migration have fuelled competition in the rental market resulting in a shortage in rental properties across the Gold Coast. Finding and securing a lease has become a real struggle for both locals and people relocating to the Gold Coast from interstate.
So how do you find a rental on the Gold Coast? Here are our top tips to putting you in the best position to securing a rental property.
Where on the Gold Coast is your best chance to find a rental?
The available residential rentals have declined steeply since April 2020 at the height of COVID when the average vacancy rate was just over 3% across the Gold Coast regions. Your best chance now to find a rental is in the central Gold Coast where the vacancy rate is 1%, the toughest area to secure a lease is in the southern Gold Coast with a vacancy rate of 0.5%. While in the northern suburbs of the Gold Coast and the Hinterland the vacancy rate currently sits at 0.7%.
Searching for rental property listings
It is a good idea to save your searches on these sites and set up alerts, so that as soon as a new property that meets your criteria is listed, you receive a notification.
Other alternative platforms worth checking are gumtree.com.au, Facebook Marketplace and local area Facebook groups. Surprisingly there are quite a few listings to be found. A word of caution; there are many scammers on these platforms, so do your due-dilligence and never, ever pay anything unless you or someone else on your behalf has inspected the property in person
Speak to the local real estate agents. Compile a list of the top rental agents in your search area and contact them directly to see what they have coming up; this is a good way to be the first to find out when a new property comes on the market.
Be prepared! Gather everything you need to apply for a rental
Don't leave gathering the required documents to the last-minute and find yourself scrambling around when you've found the perfect house or unit. Be organised and have everything ready to go before you start looking.
Agents prefer online applications, this makes their lives remarkably easier, so make sure you have digital copies of everything. Here's what you will need:
1. 100-points of identification including passport, driver's license and/or birth certificate, Medicare or healthcare card, copies of accounts in your name e.g. electricity, internet or phone bill
2. Evidence of income: to show your financial ability to pay for the property include two recent payslips and/or an employment contract or a letter from your employer indicating your employment arrangements and income. If you're self-employed or a contractor include your last notice of assessment from the ATO.
3. Rental history & references: provide a summary of previous rentals and contact details (name, address + phone number) of the agents/landlords of your previous rentals and include a record of your rent payments. It's an advantage if you're able to include a written refence from the agent or landlord which will assure the new agent/landlord you're responsible and trustworthy.
4. Personal or work references: you may be asked for a couple of character references, these could include your employer, co-worker, flatmates, family members or close-friends. Before popping their details down on your application, make sure you've given them the heads-up.
5. Pet reference: if you're moving with a dog or cat, it is a good idea to also include a character reference for your furry-friend from your past landlord highlighting the condition of the property you're leaving or even one from your neighbours describing the manor and/or disturbance level they've experienced from your pet.
6. Covering letter: with a cut-throat rental market you have to do everything you can to stand out, so it is a good idea to include a cover letter describing why you're moving, who's moving, why you like this particular property and any other relevant information that may help sway an agent/landlord in your favour. I also suggest to include a family snap, it creates a visual for the landlord who ultimately makes the decision on who to sign.
7. Organise the bond: make sure you have the funds available to pay the bond (and first couple of week's rent) as soon as you get your application approved. Agent's won't wait around for it, they'll just move on to the next applicant.
Attending inspections & applying for a property
Once you have found a property, its time to organise the inspection. Most listings are advertised with set inspection times - these are more often than not during work hours on weekdays, so you'll have to be flexible. Make sure that you register for each inspection you go to as most agents will only send you an application form once you've registered online.
When attending the inspection make sure to leave a good impression on the agent; introduce yourself and have a couple of questions ready. Look presentable, be enthusiastic and friendly - it's all about standing out from the crowd.
As the rental market is very competitive, make sure you have your application form filled out and ready to go prior to the inspection so that you can submit it straight after. Timing is everything!
Follow up after an inspection, highlight that you've submitted an application and ask the agent what the process is from there. It shows that you're interested and guarantees that you're top-of-mind.
Should you offer more than the listed price?
There are a couple of tools available in the toolkit to help you stand out from your competition and help secure a lease. One of these is offering more rent than the listed price. This practice is currently not uncommon, but it's pushing up prices for everyone, including yourself. Also, consider that you may be able to afford the extra now, but how about when there are further rent rises in the future?
Another option is to offer to pay a period of rent upfront if you can afford it; 3-months, 6-months or even 12-months is not unheard of in today's rental market.
Lastly, any agent will favour the application that meets the vacancy date - the sooner they rent it out the better! So, if that means you'll have to start paying before you're ready to move and pay 'dead rent' then this is a cost you may need to bear in order to be successful in the application and secure the lease.
Need help finding a rental property on the Gold Coast?
I can help with that! Rental agents generally require you to inspect a property before accepting or considering your application. I can do the inspection on your behalf to ensure you get in quick, save valuable time and be in the best position to secure the lease.
I will provide a detailed report on the property and location, answer all your questions, take measurements and include a detailed video tour showing all the ins-and-outs of the property and the location. Enquire about this service