A property manager has urged tenants to “clean up” their social media and provide a cover letter to boost their chances of getting a lease on a rental home.
Jessica Melling, property manager at LJ Hooker estate agency in Robina on Queensland’s Gold Coast, warned first-time tenants that landlords and agents often check a potential tenant’s social media accounts.
Melling told Daily Mail Australia that landlords and property managers may consider a tenant favorably if they have a social media profile that makes a good first impression.
“Property managers often use social media as a tool to show owners a little more about their tenants,” he said.
“If your social media isn’t private, take a look at it and think you’re dating someone and their parents are going to jump up and take a look.”
Melling said a tenant’s photos on Facebook or Instagram will likely tell the landlord whether to give the tenant the house keys.
“If (social media) is private, clean it up.”
A property manager has urged first-time renters to “clean up” their social media profiles if they want to boost their chances of owning a rental home.
Melling, who has 15 years of experience as a property manager, said property managers use social media to identify a tenant, especially if they haven’t provided a letter of introduction.
“We are looking for a photograph of that person so the owner can better understand who he is.”
Melling said landlords are often looking to enter into a long-term agreement with a tenant and said the more information landlords and property managers have, including photographs of a tenant, the better.
The advice to renters comes as Australia’s rental vacancy rate remains persistently low – 1.1 per cent in January, down from 1.3 per cent in December 2023. There were 32,108 rental properties in Australia, compared to 39,797 in December.
Jessica Melling (pictured), property manager at LJ Hooker Robina on the Gold Coast, told Daily Mail Australia that property managers often turn to social media in a bid to better understand potential tenants.
Melling said the competitive rental market means potential tenants must find ways to stand out from the crowd.
He urged tenants to provide a cover letter in their applications and bring a copy of the letter during open housing inspections.
“The goal of this (cover letter) is to present yourself to the best of your ability and be memorable to the property manager,” Ms. Melling said.
“If we get 30 applications but we’ve had someone show how eager they are by bringing a cover letter with them, chances are the application will be easy to process.”
First-time tenant and apprentice plumber Jarrod Pienaar struggled to find a rental home before moving to a property in Varsity Lakes on the Gold Coast.
Australia’s national vacancy rate remains stubbornly low as renters struggle to find places to live (pictured, renters inspecting a property)
The 22-year-old said he was able to enter the rental market once he started including cover letters in his property applications.
‘I was ready to move out and start looking for a place of my own. “I wanted to find a property between $500 and $700 a week, but there wasn’t much on the market at the time,” he said. wellbeing.com.au
However, some tenant advocates have criticized property managers who review potential tenants’ social media profiles, saying it is an infringement on their privacy.
Better Renting CEO Joel Dignam said monitoring potential tenants through social media is another example of the power imbalance between landlords and tenants.
“The bottom line is that this is not relevant to leasing and is an abuse of the power that agents have because they have so many tenants to choose from in a tight market,” he told Brisbane Times.
“We don’t need to tone-police tenants who are otherwise eligible.”
Ms Melling encouraged tenants not to lose faith and have their applications ready to submit online, ensuring they provide reliable references.
“The best thing you can do is, even if you think you have no chance, apply because everyone else is often too afraid to apply.”