Frequently Asked Questions

Good question, this is often split into two separate fees; a rent collection fee and a management fee. Your Portfolio Manager will discuss Management Fee’s with you during your initial consultations.

A reference is written by someone associated with you, either professionally or personally. In a rental instance, your professional reference would be your previous Rental Agent or your private landlord. But as a First Time Tenant, you would not have these references. A first-time renter with no references will ask his boss, a colleague, a roommate or perhaps the neighbour providing a reference.

Many Australians choose before they take the next step in buying a property they rent for some time. Therefore we find many First Time Tenants out in the market looking for their first rental. For your first rental home, you would need a Rental Reference. Being a First Time Tenant without a rental reference, you might feel a bit stuck.

You have spent all week browsing through online sites, picked up every real estate magazine, and booked for an inspection to find 30 other keens who would be a tenant as keen as you rent the property.

On the day of the inspection, the agent meets you at the door and asks a few questions; one of them is your rental history. But this is your first rental home, and you have no rental history!

Don’t Stress; fortunately, every tenant has been a first-time renter at some point, and you can strengthen your application in numerous ways.

An Agent’s primary concern is with an applicant’s affordability in paying the rent on time and the applicant’s ability to take care of the property and comply with the lease’s terms and conditions.

It is a letter from your reference vouching for your ability to meet financial commitments and be a dependable and trustworthy individual. In addition, the reference letter provides your potential future landlord with a picture of who you are and what can be expected if they were to approve your application as a tenant for his investment property.

Even applying for a new job, it is vital providing a reference; therefore, a reference on a rental property application can be the deciding factor in the first-time tenant’s success in securing the property.

The standard in Queensland would be two references from the two most recent Rental Agencies, which you, as a First Time Tenant, will not have access to.

A Personal reference is not the top choice for an application, citing a personal referee on your rental application. But as a First Time Tenant, this might be your only choice and will be accepted as an official reference in certain circumstances.

When a property manager starts the screening process and calls the references, each person will be asked how they know you. If you include your parents and university mate, the property manager’s opinion may be slightly biased.

Including a professional reference who can talk about your performance in your current job, for example, your employer makes for a much stronger reference. If your reference can say you’ve demonstrated great personal responsibility and accountability, it is undoubtedly a rental clincher.

Please don’t leave it up to chance and wait for the property manager to call your reference. Instead, approach the most appropriate person for your application, and think about some open-ended questions for them. For example, “If I were to list you as a reference, what would you say you’ve noticed about me and responsibility?” This will give you the answer to whom to include as a referee.

A Career mentor: The experience a career mentor will have had with you is most likely a professional experience, and they will be able to commend your excellent qualities and ability to perform under pressure.

An Employer: They probably have worked with you for extended periods, but ensure they are happy with your work and attitude first.

Volunteer supervisor: If you have worked under one supervisor as a volunteer, consider adding them to your reference list.

There are different ways you can demonstrate your trustworthiness, depending on your previous circumstances. For example, if you can show you are responsible, tidy and have a good history of paying bills on time, you’re on track renting your first rental.

  • You previously lived in student accommodation. You may wish to provide the persons in charge of managing the complex details.
  • You previously owned your own home, and the property has been sold. You may wish to ask the agent in charge of the sale to act as a reference for you.

You are currently living with your parents. You may wish to have a parent co-sign your lease with you.

Examples of supporting application documents you can submit to the Property Manager assisting them in the decision-making process;

  1. Verification of employment, showing your regular income
  2. Verification of income
  3. Professional references from an employer or fellow staff member can demonstrate your sense of responsibility.
  4. Personal reference from a neighbour/teacher/business person/doctor/accountant can help bolster your application
  5. Gas/electricity/phone bill or rates notices show you have a good history of paying bills on time.
  6. Your Identification – Come prepared with a 100-point identification. You would need some photo identification, such as your driver’s licence or passport, your Medicare card, birth certificate, car registration or health care card.

Now that you understand why a reference is needed in your rental application, you can tailor your application to rent accordingly – even if you’ve never rented before.

Refer to our link Applying for a Rental Property

A checklist to help you determine your rental wish list;

So you don’t waste your time looking at rental properties that don’t meet your needs, here is a simple checklist of practical things to consider to help you determine your rental wish list.

Location & Features of the Property

This, along with budget is one of the most important decisions you need to make. It is worth spending time ranking the following features as Essential, Preferable or Handy.


  • Close to work
  • Close to schools
  • Close to park
  • Close to shops
  • Close to amenities eg hospital
  • Close to sports grounds
  • Close to transport
  • Close to family and friend
  • Close to leisure activities

Internal Features

  • Number of bedrooms
  • Separate dining room
  • Separate children’s rumpus room
  • Open plan layout
  • Number of bathrooms
  • Modern kitchen
  • Built-in wardrobe
  • Additional storage

External Features

  • Garden
  • Garage or off-street parking
  • Outdoor area
  • Security
  • Low maintenance
  • Fully renovated /landscaped
  • Access to property

Finding a rental property

Once you have your rental property wish list you can commence the home hunt.

Here are two primary ways to help you find your rental home:

Navigate the Networks One of the best places to search for rental properties is on-line. Portal such as,, and and even are great places to start.

For the real estate portals you can specify the suburb/s where you want to rent, number of bedrooms, price and other features and you will be presented with a shortlist of available properties that meet your requirements.

Make sure you save your search criteria and set up property alerts so you are notified of any new rental properties as they become available. Talk to Norval Real Estate and discuss what you are looking for, ask us if we have anything available or coming up in the area / price range you are looking at. This is an important step as it might help you find a property before anyone else does.

What to look for when inspecting a rental property Making sure you visit a rental property before you sign a lease is vital. It is recommended to visit a property for a midweek viewing as well – weekends can be packed with rival tenants, whereas visiting in the week might see you leap to the front of the queue.

Here is a summary of what to look for when inspecting the property:

The outside:

Make sure you spend time looking around the outside of the property and consider the following:

  • Is it in good condition?
  • Is the property secure? Have a look for deadlocks, window locks and other security features. The level of security can make a huge impact on your insurance.
  • Is there a garden and what maintenance is required? Does the landlord
  • Has the property being burgled?
  • If you like gardening it is worth asking if you are able to add your touch to the garden.
  • If there is a garden shed with junk it in, ask the agent if it is being cleared out.
  • Does the property have a garage – does it have a roller door, is it electronic or manual?
  • If there is no off street parking do you need parking permits?

The Inside

  • Is it in good condition? Is it clean, is there any signs of damp, mould, infestations of any kind?
  • Does anything need to be repaired?
  • Is there enough storage for all your stuff? Consider if there is enough pantry space, clothes hanging space, linen space and areas for you to store laundry items such as brooms and vacuum cleaners and external storage.
  • Is the property insulated?
  • Is there central heating or air conditioning.
  • Will you be able to fit your furniture and items into the property? It is worth measuring the front door and rooms to ensure your furniture and white goods will fit in.

Budget considerations

  • How much is the rent and what is included?
  • How much is the bond?
  • What other bills are there and what are you liable to pay for?
  • How much of a deposit is required?
  • Can you comfortably afford the rent on top of the deposit and running costs?

Other considerations

  • Spend time reading and understanding the tenancy agreement
  • Keep a copy of the signed tenancy agreement for your own records • Check and record all metre readings on the day you move in and send a copy to your property manager

Happy home hunting!

Compare listings