Why is tenancy application process good for you, what is your chance to shine and how many steps to get short-listed?


Tenancy Application

How does the Application Process works for you?


Tenancy application process—good or bad for you?


The short answer is YES, it is good for you if you know and execute your rights. The tenancy application process works in both directions and the sense behind is to match two parties’ needs. When taking out the emotions you will quickly realize that people like you try to stay out of trouble. Landlords look for good tenants and renters look for good housing and reasonable landlords.  Why not working towards a good match?


To get the whole picture there is something more to understand—look at the  rental housing market and the renting culture. Sadly that is why housing politics have a greater impact on market rents than the comfort level of a home (the value for money).


True or not that the rental market is dominated by real estate agents (property managers) - but be aware that you apply for a rental home that is not owned by the agent.  Finding a vacant rental can be time consuming, but know that an agent’s service comes with extra costs. The risk that you might end up between two parties (the landlord’s obligation and the agent’s services) is worth a consideration when applying for a tenancy.



The rental housing market


It does not surprise you, the rental housing market is very competitive and that for simple reasons; the housing shortage, limited numbers of quality rentals and dated housing stock.

For historical reasons NZ’s residential properties are dated and new built homes have been in the spotlights for so long (leaky homes, quality, body corporate issues). Pushed by one-sided politics the separation of rules for rentals from the rest of the housing stock has been so far—a housing disaster.


People who owned a house and obtained a mortgage prefer to build a new family home and rent out the old house. In this way you can find properties from the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s in total original conditions with open fire-place, no heating nor insulation as they were built. 

Purpose built investment properties have been built mostly in high-density areas as apartments, multi-units or town-houses. That is why quality family homes on good sized section for rent are hard to find.


Mostly misunderstood moving investors out of the property market in 2010 has actually stalled the housing recovery process after the global financial crisis. As a result the limited supply keeps prices and rents up.



Tenancy application process—your chance to shine


Losses from damaged properties and unpaid rents are the main reasons that the tenant screening process has become a central part of the tenancy law. It is similar to a job application, a standardized process, which requires from each applicant the same information, therefor it is fair for everyone. Good renters can easily reduce the number of competition. Being identified as “the preferred tenant” is an advantage for the applicant and works for the landlord alike. Why not standing out from the crowd?




Let the Application process work for you


Who does not hate filling in forms? Well, if everybody does why not using it as advantage? It gives you the chance to stand out from the crowd. Let me summarize three steps:

· Find a home that meets your needs

· Contact the agent/landlord and obtain the application papers, arrange an appointment for viewing the property and prepare the questions you want to ask

· Check the neighborhood, do a reference check on the Agent/landlord, and prepare  paper work and supporting documents


First impression counts, get the paperwork right and make sure that landlord and house are  supporting your lifestyle. You will likely never get a second chance. So pay attention to following practical steps:



1) First contact

Renters often make the first contact via email referring to online advertising on the Internet. At this point applicants who do not provide name, contact details and a brief reason for the enquiry slip to the end of the list. Another common reason for missing out is because they are not contactable during business hours. Say so, if you prefer a text message or give a time when you are available. Let the other party know when working in shifts etc, show that you are a good communicator.



2) Property Viewing

Find out about the area you want to live in, prepare supporting documents for your application and be on time for viewing the property. If you plan to share the property with family or friends, ask them to inspect the property with you.

Do your homework and be prepared to make a quick decision. Be honest otherwise a reference check will backfire. Show commitment, if you cannot complete the questionnaire, sure somebody else will.  



3) Applicant’s Identity

People who disguise their identity shoot themselves in the foot. Since the existence of bad tenant databases, online access for tenancy tribunal orders, etc  people try lots of different things to hide  “the history”. For genuine renters that is a good chance to get the tenancy they really want.



4) Getting Short-Listed

For getting past the tenant screening the tenancy application requires references, information for credit checks and disclosure of the renting history. If you don’t have a renting history (new on the rental market), find somebody to sign for you as guarantor.


Getting short-listed means you have completed your part successfully without  leaving any question marks.



5) Received an offer for signing a tenancy

Most people would say—well, that is it, but actually not.  Signing a tenancy (in NZ) can be a periodic or fixed-term contract for a short or long term tenancy. So, be knowledgeable and know your option and rights.


Supporting documents, “cover letter” and moving-in inspection tips (next page).



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Renter’s Blog lead to a real person, IT professional, investor, landlord and business owner with interests in sharing experiences. Life is a dream with a deadline, happiness comes from making the right choices and having realistic expectations.


Confession: I have been a happy renter for more than 25 years before buying a family home and later becoming involved in property investments and developments.


I used to live in apartments or rental homes, worked in many different countries and experienced different housing standards and renting cultures. I would love to see a social and legal frame work around housing policies that supports renters and landlords alike.

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