Tips for preparing for property search

Taranaki is not immune to the current housing crisis, it continues to become more difficult to secure long term rental properties for many people.  Our Transitional Housing team works alongside families without accommodation who are referred from Work and Income New Zealand.  A family may move into one of four properties rented by Taranaki Women’s Refuge and with the support of our team they work towards securing their own long term rental property.  Our team has included some top tips they recommend to our families to help them find their new home. 

Thanks to our Transitional Housing team for these top tips they recommend to our families to help them secure a new home.

  1. Book in to the Ready to Rent course through Work & Income – They have some great tips and advice to help you prepare for your property search.
  2. Get Rental References – From previous property managers/landlords and/or character references from current or previous employer. Make sure you have OK’d this with them first.
  3. Create a Tenancy Cost Cover Letter to the Landlord – Some people qualify for additional cover over and above the bond for prospective landlords, provided by Work & Income. Include this with your application.
  4. Make an appointment with a Budget Service – You can self-refer. They will let you know what your credit rating is, help you set up repayments and clear your debt (including liaising with finance companies on your behalf) and do a weekly budget. Property managers check credit ratings and debt when assessing applications. If you have a poor credit rating or are defaulting on payments, addressing this will increase your chances of being considered.
  5. Dress to Impress – Treat “viewings” like a job interview. You want to stand out from the crowd and make a great first impression.
  6. Be ready for Viewings – Arrive on time. Introduce yourself to the Property Manager so they can put a face to the name on applications. If something changes and you can’t make a viewing, let them know.
  7. Applications – Submit your application as soon as possible after viewing the property.
  8. Create a Cover letter – Include this with your application along with
    – a copy of your photo ID.
    – Rental history and reference contact details.
    – Employment details.
    – Children – how many children you have and their ages.
    – Debt/Credit Rating/Tenancy Tribunal Rulings against you – Honesty is the best policy. These are the first things they check, so they will appreciate you being upfront them. Let them know if you are addressing your debt through Budget Service.
    – Rent – if your bond, rent in advance and weekly rent will be paid by direct debit from Work and Income, include this information
    – Current contact phone number.
    – Anything else you think might be relevant.