What do you need to know for passing the screening process and credit checks? What are the essentials for a successful tenancy application? How to become a desirable or preferred tenant?
How to pass the screening process?
Are screening and credit checks on prospective tenants legal?
The short answer is—YES, but for doing so the agent/landlord must have on the application form an inclusion or renter’s permission in writing to make inquiries. In the previous blog posts we already looked at the tenancy application, application process and supporting documents. The underlying message for those activities is – a good beginning makes a good ending.
The opposite case is often pictured in the media like the series “Renters”. How that ends up you can watch on TV2 on demand. Landlords look for responsible tenants and renters want to find a home suitable for their needs or lifestyle — that is quite reasonable, really.
For many also true, the tenancy application can be one of those things that gets you out of your comfort zone. That is why I would like to help you with few tips. And before I forget, it makes sense to ask the agent/landlord for a written reference at the end of a tenancy. In this way you make sure that both parties are on the same page when providing your current landlord’s details as referee.
Knowledgeable renters know
Reference checks, private information & Privacy Act
Don’t feel offended when the letting agent/landlord asks you to present proof of identity (photo ID), employer’s details, pay slip or other private information. This is managed and protected by the Privacy Act.
Do not distribute personal details online
If you found a property you might be interested in, make contact by phone or email to obtain an invitation for viewing the property and meet the agent/landlord. Submit your application after you have seen the property. Don’t fill up agent’s online databases.
Application—Success or refusal
Getting refusals happen. Choosing a tenant is a business decision, not a personal one. Once you have been the chosen one, make sure to pay your rent on time, be courteous and keep things as agreed on the tenancy agreement. That are the essentials for the next successful application.
Desirable or preferred tenant
During the application process the letting agent/landlord applies criteria to select the best match. The desirable or preferred tenant might be chosen because of the rental time frame, number of applicants, age group, or whatever. For instance a person with a little dog but good references might no be chosen in a building with no pet policy.
Rights and responsibilities
For managing the tenant/landlord relationship the RTA defines rights and responsibilities for both parties. If both sides respect them, the result will be a lasting relationship. Generally there will be fewer problems as the landlord wants to please and retain good tenants. In this way responsible tenants contribute positively to the tenant/landlord relationship and have better options.
The RTA requires a tenancy agreement in writing.
Verbal agreements are binding
During the application process until the tenancy agreement has been finally signed any verbal agreements on the tenancy are binding and enforceable at the Tenancy Court.
Savvy renters who know their rights are able to use the application process to their advantage. If you are one of them, you have been chosen as preferred tenant, communicate well to maintain a trustworthy relationship and contribute keeping your rental home in good working order. Good luck.
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Klauster Properties Ltd - Renter’s Blog
Rent or Own - Decision at some stage in life?
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.