Applying for a property
Learn about the documents you’ll need, rent bidding, holding deposits, and your rental rights.
What you need
Once you’ve chosen a rental property, it's time to apply.
In most situations, you'll be asked by the landlord or agent to complete an application form and provide supporting documentation that shows:
- proof of identity
- proof of income, such as a payslip or bank statement
- past rental records
- personal and work references.
There can be a high demand for rental properties, which means it’s likely there’ll be more than one person applying to live in the property. Before you attend an inspection, it can help to be prepared to apply. This can include:
- checking the real estate agent’s website to confirm the application process
- completing the application form in advance
- having a copy of all the required documents ready for each adult in your household who plans to live in the property
- submitting the application as soon as possible after inspecting the property.
Rent bidding is when an applicant offers the landlord or agent more rent than was advertised.
While potential tenants can voluntarily offer higher rents, landlords and agents:
- must advertise a fixed price
- cannot ask for or invite an offer of rent that is higher than the advertised price.
If you’ve been offered the property, the landlord or agent can ask you to pay a holding deposit to secure it for you until the lease is signed.
If you’ve paid a holding deposit and sign the lease, the deposit will go towards your rent.
If you’ve paid a holding deposit and the landlord doesn’t sign the lease, they must give you the deposit back.
If you’ve paid a holding deposit and don’t sign the lease, the landlord or agent can keep the deposit.
Find out more about applying for a rental property at NSW Fair Trading.