In many areas that I cover for my rental search service, rental vacancy rates are down under 2%.  I'm hearing many clients lament that the home they love that's just come on the market has been leased before they even had an opportunity to inspect it.  They are wondering if this is normal ... or what?

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Unfortunately, yes, this is the norm.  In most areas in which I locate rental homes for my clients, vacancy rates are down under 2%.  This means that fewer than 2% of all possible homes that can be rented, are available for rent at that point in time.  It is Landlord's Paradise but a Tenant's Nightmare.  For me, finding homes for people is my full-time job.  For most people, their full-time job is very different, and they try to squeeze finding a rental home into their spare time, but this approach sees them missing out again and again.

The other issue is that it is an incredibly competitive space for tenants when rental vacancy rates are so low.  It means that more tenants are competing for fewer homes, landlords can be very picky with regards to tenant selection.  This presents another issue for tenants: how to stand out from all of the other tenants who are applying for the same home.  Unfortunately, the average tenant applies for several homes and only gets approved for one, and that home is not necessarily their favourite home.  In my service, I have found that 100% of the applications submitted have been approved. 

The final issue that low vacancy rates presents for tenants is that there's not a lot of choice!  The best that a tenant can do is to have a very clear idea of what they need, what they want, what they don't want and where they're prepared to be flexible.  I can add value to this area as well, with extensive experience in helping tenants appreciate what they can afford for their budget, what to expect of the area they're considering living in and how to be realistic and flexible so that a great home can be found in as little time as possible.

If all this sounds way too familiar, let me help you!  All day long, I help tenants find homes.  I search for homes, short-list them, enquire about them, inspect them, report on them and help my clients apply for them - successfully.  If your rental search experience has been over-rated, contact me so that you can enjoy your Saturdays and keep your sanity.

Melissa Maimann is a licenced Buyer's Agent and Rental Search / Relocation Agent in Sydney.  She saves tenants time and frustration by offering an affordable service that finds and secures the best rental properties quickly, easily and efficiently.  If you need a Licenced Real Estate Agent to find your next rental home for you, don't hesitate to make contact.