In so many aspects of our lives, we engage professionals to represent our interests. Those professionals range from accountants to financial planners, solicitors, conveyancers, financial advisors, and so forth. In fact, for most people, it's a no-brainer to seek out a professional to advocate for us, advise us and guide us.
Time and time again, I find tenants' needs disregarded, their rights trampled on, and their value minimised. I believe tenants deserve only the utmost respect and consideration: we are paying someone else's mortgage and looking after their property, after-all.
Renting a home usually represents the single largest expenditure for a tenant. It is one of the biggest expenses we usually incur, and considering most leases are for 12 months, it is a decision that is binding for a good length of time. Yet time and time again, tenants rent their homes without professional representation in both choosing the right home and in the months and years that follow.
I've often been curious that most landlords engage agents to select tenants for them and manage their properties, yet when a tenant leases a home, although there are two parties coming together, only one is represented.
The information that is publicly available about the property is usually minimal, and tenants are provided a mere 15 minutes to inspect the property and decide on it. So in effect, tenants are genuinely going in blind.
To make matters worse, tenants are then required to pay a holding deposit to secure the property, without even reading the terms of the lease, as that is not prepared until after the holding deposit is paid.
Consider the process to purchase a home: interested buyers obtain the contract for sale/purchase before they pay a deposit and they seek legal advice on the contract. Their conveyancer / property lawyer may request amendments to the terms and conditions, which may or may not be accepted by the vendor. But no deposit is paid until the contract has been viewed and terms and conditions agreed. Yet when tenants rent, they pay their deposit and then view the contract.
Unfortunately, tenants are up against property managers and agents who rent out homes all day, every day. They know exactly what to say - and what not to say - to secure a tenant. These agents rent out homes every day, whereas a tenant usually only rents one home every two or three years, and so this creates a very imbalanced situation, especially given the agent's access to public, private and inside information about the property, whereas the tenant is only able to access scant, publicly-available information.
Most tenants don’t have access to rich, complete and detailed private information about rental properties. This information is only available to real estate professionals on paid subscriptions. My service accesses this information for clients to even-out the playing field so that my clients are not going in blind. Landlords have agents to research their tenants for them - and we all know just how lengthy those property applications are. But who is researching the property, landlord and agent for the tenant? This is where Find My Rental Property comes in.
Renting a home in Sydney is tough at most times of the year. Good homes are leased so fast that there's almost no time to consider them. I find homes all day, every day: it's my full-time job. When a home comes up, I know about it and can easily and quickly research the home and everything there is to know about it. Engaging my service helps to address the significant imbalance that exists between landlords and tenants. My service represents tenants and ensures their interests are represented, both in finding and securing a home, and throughout the lease.
Good news for Agents and Property Managers
My experience is that agents and property managers love dealing with my service. Why? They know I have a client who is going to love their home, who has been screened and qualified, whose application is in tip-top form (no need for the agent to request additional documents or go through lengthy discussion to get the information they need to process the application). Agents understand what I bring to the table, which is a fantastic client who is ready to look after the home, pay the rent on time and be responsible, communicative and reliable. In short, every landlord's dream.
I've been thrilled to have helped so many tenants find and secure their perfect home and to provide ongoing support through their lease. My wish for all tenants is that they are able to go into their next lease with their eyes wide open and lease the right property at the right price, so that the rental period is satisfying and rewarding for both the tenant and the landlord. Happy tenant = happy landlord!