The aftermath of Christmas and New Year in Sydney is the rental real estate market’s peak time of year. And with recent trends of rental property demand far outstripping the supply throughout the city, some real estate agents are predicting this January could be among the toughest times yet for prospective tenants.

So competitive is the demand for properties at the beginning of the New Year that some estate agents have already reported a rush of new tenants signing up for leases well in advance.

Some people have been getting in and signing up pre-approval on properties, Michael Xylas, of Rosebery’s MGM Properties, says. Rental properties, in terms of the number available, are at an all-time low -“ it really is not uncommon that we get four applications for every property.

The January rush is due to such seasonal factors as interstate and international students arriving in Sydney to commence their studies, as well as career people who have been transferred to the city and need to find a place to live.

Add to this the people who decide to start the New Year afresh by moving in to a new home and choose January to head into the market, and the demand for rental houses and apartments goes into overdrive.

Around the Newtown area there is a huge demand from students commencing at Sydney University and UTS, and they now seem to be looking earlier every year, Michael Piperitis, from Kelly & Sons Newtown, says.

There are an estimated 5,000 international students arriving into the area, and they need to be accommodated, and that is on top of the people who are just generally looking to live in the area.

Piperitis says tenants can put themselves ahead of the pack by following some simple rules to help ease the January rental squeeze.

Be organised and start early, he says. Check the internet early, check the papers early and get out there to look at the properties. Some properties now open for inspection at 10am so, if you decide to turn up after lunchtime, you might as well forget it.

Michael Xylas also recommends prospective tenants should arrive armed with all the information agents and landlords need to make a decision.

Turn up with a list of your referees and your previous landlords and agents and their phone numbers -“ those kinds of details make all the difference and identify you as a good tenant, he says.

Also turn up promptly and make yourself look like good tenants. They are simple things but, with agents and landlords being picky, they will go a long way to getting you the place you want.

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