How long does it take for a rental application to be approved?

Have you found the perfect home, which you applied for right away? It can be both an exciting and anxious time waiting for that response from your application. You find yourself checking your phone more frequently than normal, hoping to see that glorious text or email saying you have been approved.

But, as time goes on you may be wondering how long it takes to process an application and get a response. This is a common question we all experience during this time. So, let’s dig into it.

How long will it take to get a response?

Generally, Agencies will aim to have a turnaround between 24 and 48 hours. This can change depending on how long it takes the agency to contact the owner and receive a decision. In a slower rental market you may receive a response almost immediately, in a hotter market they may try to get a larger number of applicants. The response time will ultimately come down to the agency’s ability to process, verify, and follow up on the information provided in your application.

A simple way to speed up the process on your application is to ensure you have filled everything out, submitted all correct supporting identification, and checked that all contact details provided are correct.

Many agencies will now use automated text messages which update tenants on the process of their application. With this, if there is any information missing, the applicant can be followed up quickly. This system also helps tenants know how their application is trending, reducing some of the stress from lack of information.

Pro tip: don’t be afraid to give a follow-up call

If you are waiting to hear back from the agency after your application, don’t be afraid to reach out to them. Give them a follow-up call, or send an email to make sure they have received your application. It also gives you an extra point of contact to ask any quick questions. Don’t wait around for the agent to follow you up, as they may not. At the same time, don’t bombard them with calls and emails, just a single call, with a follow-up email if they don’t pick up the phone should be enough.

What to do once you have been approved

When you have been approved the first thing you will need to do is pay the bond or security deposit. This will secure your tenancy at the property allowing you to begin planning for moving. The Bond is generally one month’s rent worth, however, this figure could vary depending on the laws in your state. If you do not have enough cash on hand to pay your bond, consider a bond loan. This is a small loan specifically for paying bond, which can be quickly paid off when you have the cash.

Tips to increasing your approval chances

Be organised

Before you even go to any inspections you should be organised and prepared to submit an application immediately, if you like the place. Fast submissions, correctly completed, will have a higher chance of receiving approval. So, be organised, have all necessary documents, references, contact details, and more ready to go.  

Showcase your rental history

The best way to secure a good property is to have a great rental history. If you have a history of paying your rent and bills on time, have stayed at a place for a number of years, and had a great relationship with your property manager or landlord, showcase this. A great way to do this is to have a letter of recommendation from your previous agent and have them as a reference.

Provide as much information as possible

By providing all information requested you will make the entire process go a lot smoother. There is a lot of information that property managers and landlords need in order to accept you as a tenant. A lot of this is to ensure you can actually afford the rent and will be a good tenant. But there is also an insurance aspect. Most landlord insurance policies require documented evidence confirming proof of identity, proof of income, and other documentation.

What if my application isn’t approved?

In many cases there are a lot of applicants for a single property, so someone has to miss out. If you have not been accepted the property manager or agent should let you know via text or email. Sometimes there are other properties listed by the same agency, if you like the property and have seen it, you could ask to move your application over to that property.


The application process can be both stressful and wonderful. It is an exciting time, getting a new home, especially if it’s a dream property. Of course, with this excitement and anxiety the wait times to hear the results of your application can be excruciatingly slow. But, hold on, as it shouldn’t take too long to hear your results back.

For more rental advice check out our other articles here.

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