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What makes a good tenancy application?

What makes a good tenancy application?

Rental application

Within our team, at Harcourts Grenadier Accommodation Centre we have a Letting Team who between them have more than 60 years of experience processing applications. I find it difficult to come up with a rough figure of how many tenancy applications they would have read through, processed, accepted and declined with that level of experience. They have shared what they feel makes a good application, as well as some tips and tricks to help increase your chances of getting your next property.

In short, a good application is one that is completed quickly, in full, is well organised and simple to process.


Act quickly. If you want to apply for a property have your application ready to go as soon as you have viewed it. The quicker the application gets to us, the quicker we can process it and have it approved. The first application will not necessarily get the tenancy, but a great one that is received quickly is far more likely to be successful.

The reference check can really impact your application, and that’s even before we get in touch with them. Make sure to detail exactly who the person is, what relationship they are to you, and provide their phone number and/or email address. In the busier summer months, the Letting Team do not have as much time to search on Google for say Tim from Jones Property Management to find his contact details. References from other countries are tricky, especially with the different time zones. If this is you, try to get a written reference from your previous property manager and include a copy with your application. If the rental reference you have was only for a short time – say less than six months - you should also provide the details of the property manager you had before that, so we are able to get a clearer picture of your rental history. If you would like some tips on who could be your rental reference, check out this article on ideal rental references.

Complete, yet simple

An application which has been fully completed with all the requested supporting information is able to be processed quicker than one that requires back and forth communication. Read the Application Form in detail and complete every question. Never assume. There is, however, a fine balance of too much information. Keep it simple, and only include what is necessary.


If the property you are applying for has paper application forms, organise all the paperwork in a logical manner so it is easy to follow. For example, John’s application form followed by John’s supporting information e.g. ID, proof of address etc. Then Sally’s application and supporting information and so it goes on. If there is a group of you wanting to live together, submit your application at the same time.

Stand out from the crowd

I hear that in the likes of Wellington, and most recently New Plymouth, competition is hot for rental properties. Competition is not as high here in Christchurch at the moment, but there will still be special properties that attract a lot of interest, and you still want to be the one application that stands out. Three quick and easy tips to help you stand out:

1. Engage with the property manager at the viewing;

2. Be prepared to move in at the available date, or offer to take the property from that date even if you will not move in for a few days after that; and

3. Write a brief cover letter about yourself and the others moving in with you

Do all the above, and you’ll be well on your way to submitting a great application.


Typically after the application has been processed, it gets presented to the Property Owner to decide who to accept. If you are unsuccessful, see if that Company has any other properties which may suit what you’re looking for. They will already know you, and have your application on file, meaning it can be processed even quicker for the next property.

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Harcourts Grenadier Accommodation Centre