James Limnios | 21 November 2012

Migrants struggle to find accommodation in Perth

It is very challenging for many people who have recently arrived in Perth to find a rental property with over 1,000 people coming to Western Australia every week in search of employment and a better life.

People who have newly arrived in WA find it especially difficult to find rental accommodation because they have no track record in the local property market.

Rental vacancy rates in Perth are now below 2% and have fallen below 1% in inner city areas where many migrants want to secure a rental property because it is close to the CBD.

Limnios Property Group is now finding that one in every three applications for rental properties are recently arrived migrants.

For anyone wanting to rent a property in the current market, one key issue they should keep in mind is to have an open mind on where to live and what type of rental home they can secure.

Generally, while there is a dearth of rental properties in near city areas, rental homes are more plentiful in the outer-Perth suburbs. So a short-term option could be to rent a home in the outskirts of Perth and then apply for a near city rental property after six months once you have demonstrated that you are a good tenant.

Alternatively, if you are really keen on securing a property in an inner-city area then you should be prepared to apply for less attractive rental properties that some people overlook. These properties could be older-style flats or homes located on main roads.

The key objective should be to secure a rental property as soon as possible and then establish a proven record a good tenant. After this objective is achieved then you can apply with some confidence to secure more attractive rental accommodation.

Whatever rental home you apply for, there are certain measures you should undertake to enhance your chances of success.

You should approach their rental-housing search like you would a job search. It is important to be organised, serious, professional, and make sure you stand out as the best applicant. This means that you have to make a good impression and demonstrate that you will be a good steward for the landlord's property.

It is important to have at least three reliable references, and if you have rented before ensure that you have contact details of your last landlord. In addition, you should contact your references ahead of time to be sure your information on them is current and that you have their permission to use them as a reference.

If you have never rented before and owned a property, then have evidence of this home ownership as well as other independent references. Written references are highly regarded by landlords and property management companies.

In this regard, you should be prepared with all the information you need to complete a rental application. That includes full, prior addresses, bank account and credit card numbers, and a list of references. Landlords will not respond to incomplete applications.

A good idea is to consider consider preparing a renter's resume. You may have to repeat the information on the application, but you will stand out as well-organised and prepared.

James Limnios is the CEO of Limnios Property Group, is a City of Perth councillor, and is very passionate about real estate and political issues in Perth, WA. You can connect with James on Twitter, Google Plus and on his blog.

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