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Applying for housing

 Quick Summary

Application processes for housing options can be different. It is important to ask what is expected each time you apply for a home so that you can make the best application possible. No matter what the process is you will also need to have relevant support documentation to submit with your application. Many landlords and agents ask for a great deal of personal information. As a prospective tenant, you can choose not to disclose the requested information, but this may put you at a disadvantage. Agents /landlords usually choose a new tenant and contact them within 24 hours after meeting them and receiving an application.

You can choose to:


Advice for attending an open home

Sometimes an agent or landlord will hold an open home or open inspection, which means that you may be inspecting a home at the same time as other people. Open homes usually last for 30 minutes, so it is important that you arrive at the property at the scheduled time. You do not have to pay to inspect a property.

Tips for making a good first impression:

– be on time;

– smile and introduce yourself. Speak clearly, and look people in the eye if possible;

– be polite;

– Dress neatly. Be clean and smell nice.  If you arrive in a car, make sure that it is also clean and tidy;

– Look organised. Be ready to fill in an application form (have your paperwork and a pen ready);

– If you want to share a home make sure that all potential tenants go to the open home and follow these tips.

The main thing agents and housing providers want to know are:

– your can pay the rent regularly and on time;

– you are willing and able to care for the property;

– you can agree and stick to the terms and conditions of the lease;

– whether you have referees from previous rentals.

Hints on applications and fees:

A prospective landlord or agent is not permitted to charge application fees, waiting list fees, inspection fees, key deposit or any other fees associated with applications. They may only receive three types of payment prior to entering into a lease agreement:

– rent in advance;

– bond;

– a holding fee.


Print off this great checklist from the Tenants’ Union to take with you when you inspect a home for rent.

Whether applying to buy or rent a home, make sure to get your documentation organised.

Make copies of the following up-to-date documents:

– evidence of regular Income. For example: two months of pay slips, Centrelink statements, tax returns, or income statements;

– proof of employment/education/voluntary work;

– personal photo identification such as, driver’s licence, passport or student identification;

– current telephone or electricity bill, Medicare card, birth certificate.

Agents and landlords are not allowed to access credit files from credit reporting agencies. They can however ask a possible tenants to provide them with a credit file. You can apply to receive your credit file report for free at Tasmanian Collection Service Offices (Tascol) website.

Renters, contact your referees. Owners or real estate agents will want to talk to your referees. Referees are people who can vouch for your reliability and honesty. Often the best referee is a previous landlord or real estate agent. If you have never rented the following people are the next best:

– home owners with animals or property that you have taken care of;

– employers/supervisors, teachers and tutors;

– people you have given your assistance to for free for work, sport or art.

A FINDING YOUR WAY TIP: Whoever you choose, it is really important that they have agreed to be your referee, and can answer the phone or call someone back when you have put in an application for a rental home.  Remember, referees are not personal family or friends.

Have a look at this excellent Finding Your Way – Getting Ready to Move booklet.


Here you can find a simple list of the best actions to take if you are interested in this topic:

1 . When you want to view a home. Ring the real estate agent or owner to make an appointment.

2 . Have a list of what you need the property to have, and what you can manage without.

Download the Tenants’ Union – Renters Checklist resource (in the getting started section) to take to the ‘Open Home’.

3 . Have a folder with copies of your documents, ready to give the real estate agent or owner with your application.

4 . Make a good impression.

To find out more read the FINDING YOUR WAY articles on this page – Advice For Attending An Open Home & Tips For Making A Good Impression.

5 . If you like the home, apply on the spot.

6 . Let your referees know that you have attended an open home, and put in an application.

7 . Take along a trusted person from your network of support if you need any assistance.

8 . Click on the read more icon to see the full Finding Your Way guide to applying for housing in the article section.

9 . Don’t give up on applying.