Last month, we had the pleasure of helping a participant move out of their student accommodation into somewhere more suitable for their transitioning lifestyle. When they were referred to us, there was a level of anxiety around the whole process of applying for a rental property, especially given the way the market is in Canberra with low vacancy rates and a high level of competition. The desired goal was to find accommodation before their current rental contract expired that was within their budget, had space to park their car and was reasonably close to where they worked and went to university.
After explaining the current nature of the market, the participant made the decision that it would be best for them to move into a shared house as soon as possible. Our first session involved explaining the whole rental application process, what landlords were looking for in an application and what to say when making initial contact with someone advertising a property for rent. The participant also came up with a list of features that were either desired or mandatory when looking for a property.
After our first session, the participant was able to book in two inspections for properties that suited them. Prior to the first inspection, we met up to discuss the process and see if there were any questions or uncertainty. During the inspection, we were discrete about our exact role saying we were a friend of the family helping out for morale support. After being shown the property, it was decided that it wasn’t entirely suitable, despite the other tenants being nice.
We met up again just prior to the second inspection to go over the process and see if there were any question or concerns. We then went through the second property and built some rapport with the existing tenants at the same time. After the inspection, the participant decided they liked the place and wanted to apply for it. We then guided them through the process of submitting an application, for which they were accepted, and provided advice afterwards on how they should go about ending their current contract.
In the end, our participant was relieved that they were able to find somewhere to live that met all of their requirements and was in a reasonably central location to meet their needs, despite a tight rental market. While some compromises were made around the timeframe of the move, they were entirely driven and decided by the participant. We were even able to help out with a couple of unrelated side-issues the participant was having, which led to one very happy participant.