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Rent Affordability v Income

Have you ever wondered what factors a Property Manager looks at when processing a rental application for a property? Learn more about rent affordability versus income.

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There are many considerations a Property Manager looks at when selecting the “best tenant” for a rental property. Rental affordability is one consideration. When assessing whether a person can realistically afford the rent and will pay it on time, Property Managers generally consider applicants for whom rent constitutes no more than 30%- 40% of their income.

I’ve seen many applications over the years where someone, for example, is applying for a property at $600 a week but their application and supporting payslips only show income of $1500 a week. The general rule of thumb that most agents use is:

  • You need to provide evidence that your income / wages is a minimum of 3 times the weekly rent.

  • Using our example of a property for rent at $600 a week, providing evidence of income/ wages of $1800 a week is required.

But don’t despair if your wages don’t meet this criteria. There are several other things you can look at: 

  • The first thing is to make a list of what are your “not negotiables” in a property, such as “The property must have a car space” and what you are willing to compromise on - “I can survive without cooling in every room.” Compromising on a couple of small things on your Wish List and a $500 a week (rather than $600 a week) property might end up ticking your boxes. And there’s your affordability sorted on your $1500 a week wage.

  • If you decide that you must have EVERYTHING on your Wish list and you can’t compromise on a cheaper property, then here’s some suggestions:

Do you have money in savings or a Term Deposit that you can provide evidence of?

Do you have a second/third job that you haven’t listed on your application? A recent client had a one day a week job (in addition to her other job) that saw her earning an additional $200. This extra $200 was the difference between rental affordability and not.

Is there a family member who would be happy and willing to have their name on the lease with you even if they won’t be residing at the property? Is so, the nominated person will need to complete their own application and provide ID documentation and wages evidence to support their application.

Do you receive regular payments such as Child Support, money from a Family Trust or similar that is evident on a bank statement?

Remembering the “income evidence must be three times the rent” rule will ensure you find a property you love but, as importantly, a property you can afford.


Your Home Hunter helps time poor professionals find a rental property to call home in Melbourne.

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