Top 10 Reasons Your Rental Application is Not Being Approved

Wondering why your Sunshine Coast rental application is not being approved? There can be many many reasons. As a property manager on the Sunshine Coast, below is my top 10 list of reasons most applications don’t get considered. What’s great news for tenants is the top reasons can probably be fixed by tenants if they take a little more time to correctly fill out an application and do some following up.


This would be the No 1 reason. A really high number of rental applications we get that are just missing information. When I say missing information, we don’t really need 100 points of ID. It’s more the application is light on history. Some examples are:


If you have worked somewhere for less than 12 months, where did you work prior to that? And even prior to then. The more history we can see of you the more we can get an understanding of who you are.

Correct Income Information. I see some applications where they make $1 billion dollars a year, while others make $36 a year. Take the time to put in your correct income.

Self Employed?  Supply the last 2 years of tax returns. 



If you supply one rental reference for the last 12 months, where were you prior to that & prior to that? Applicants that go back a long way with all their information make a huge difference as we can see the big picture of who they are. The concern with 1 rental reference is we don’t have a second person that can confirm a pattern. 


Ensure you have the correct person’s email address and phone number. Is it .com or Is the address really correct? Sounds so simple I can’t even believe this is one of the top reasons people don’t get approved. If an applicant can’t make time by adding in the last 3 places they rented and ensuring the contact information is correct how can they expect us to consider their application? 


Second biggest issue. These days property managers get a high volume of applications. The online application systems automatically send a reference request to past property managers for rental references and employees.  Ignite which is what Asset Agents use will send a reference request to a property manager & employer once, and then if it’s not been completed will send another in 48 hours automatically. So the applicant’s past and current property manager and employer have now been emailed twice asking for a reference. 

Often they don’t come back to us. Usually because either the email address is wrong, or the email is in their junk mail folder.

Plus we can choose to send a request manually. We can see how long it’s been since the contact was asked for the reference. Some have been several weeks, which usually indicates the email address is wrong OR they have no plans on supplying a reference.

Example of an applicant where the two property management references had not been returned from 10 days prior. They had been sent 2 requests automatically and on day 5 we also sent a request manually.

TIP: the applicant can log in and see this. On day 2 they should contact the property manager directly to get them to complete the request & also check the email address and phone numbers are correct.


Example of an applicant where employment references had not been returned from 4 days prior. They had been sent 2  requests automatically. 

TIP: the applicant can log in and see this. On day 2 they should contact their employer directly to get them to complete the request & also check the email address and phone numbers are correct. 


Example of an applicant where the private landlord reference had not been returned from 6 months ago. 

TIP: the applicant can log in and see this. On day 2 they should contact the property manager directly to get them to complete the request & also check the email address and phone numbers are correct. 


Example of an applicant where the property manager reference had not been returned from 10 months ago. 

TIP: the applicant can log in and see this. On day 2 they should contact the property manager directly to get them to complete the request & also check the email address and phone numbers are correct. 


Example of an applicant where all the references have come back & we are able to process it. 


An example of what a tenant can see in the application portal is that shows this reference has not been returned from 7 months ago. They need to press edit. Re-contact the property manager. Ensure they have the correct contact details. Delete and re-add this property so the property manager is re-sent the reference request. 

I realise tenants assume we’ll call references to obtain the information we need. We have so many other applicants, we first look for ones where they are already completed. We process those first so it’s common applications that are incomplete just don’t get looked at.

A tenant’s best chance of being approved is to ensure they have the correct email and mobile number for their references then log into the application portal 2 days after they apply to ensure the references have been completed. If they have not been completed to personally chase the references up. Then once they know they are done, re-contact the agency they are applying with to let them know. 

Watch this video to see how tenants can access their applications to understand if references have been completed.


If you have rented somewhere for 6 months, somewhere else for 8 months, or somewhere for 14 months, that’s fairly inconsistent, unless you have a really good explanation. Property managers are looking for people that are stable.


If you’ve only been employed somewhere for a short time. 2 years or less. You need to add in other jobs. Add in as many jobs as you can. I see too many applications supply 1 job reference where they have been employed there for 12 months with no other information about what they did prior.  If the company gives a glowing reference we need to be able to confirm that reference by getting one from where you worked prior. If you were a stay-at-home mum, what did you do prior to that? If you were at uni did you work part time? We need to get an understanding of who you are.


If you had a bad rental experience in the past, it will be very hard to get approved. Paying rent late, not getting your bond back, and being hard to deal with all make it very hard to be approved for a property. Property managers ask each either “would you rent to that person again” if the answer is no they would not it’s very likely other property managers would not want to take a risk with you. 

This is how important it is to do the right thing. Pay your rent, look after the home, and be easy to deal with.



It is very hard for a professional property manager to take on a reference from a private landlord. They just don’t know what we are looking for in a tenant and what our standards are. Private landlords can’t supply the tenant’s rental ledger so we can see proof they always paid on time. Plus it’s common for a private landlord has become friends so happy to twist the truth. If you’ve rented through a private landlord and prior you rented through 3 property managers, supply details of all 4. It will make a big difference.


Property managers mainly need to know just 2 things. First will you pay your rent on time? Second, will you look after the home? The challenge with a homeowner is we have no real way to know how you lived. If you have a big income and even a big bank account this does not mean you will pay rent on time. 

While we do approve people who have been homeowners, you need to supply some evidence, like photos of how you live, contact details of the sale agent you sold through or a neighbour as a reference. The sales contract, a copy of your bank statements. Something more than just the address of where you lived as the owner and how long you lived there. 


The more people renting a property the more wear and tear on it. But also if 4 friends want to share, potentially that’s 8 people in the home often as they might all have partners that want to stay over a lot. Then if 1 wants to move out and the other 3 remaining can’t afford it on their own, they need to find someone else whom the property manager also needs to approve. It gets complicated. 

I hope this has helped you get some ideas of what you can do to improve your applications to give you the very best chance of being approved. 


Recently I had an applicant with a strong income who owns their own business. But had no references. They owned their own property in Qld and several investments in NSW but were unable to supply any way to prove that or a property manager in NSW for us to speak to that manages their investments.

We need evidence. If you own a business what’s the website address, do you have Google reviews or letters from happy clients? If you own the business you need to prove you do.


Asset Agents allow people to apply prior to viewing. Not any agencies do that. The advantage is we will get references back sooner. Often someone will look at a property and then apply 3 days later and it’s too late because we have already approved someone.  Apply as soon as possible. Eg. today



Sometimes it’s just plain luck. There could be multiple applicants that are all suitable and you just happen to be the one not chosen. 


If there is an advertised lease start date, it’s usually fine if you need the lease to start a few days past this. But if you need it to start 2 weeks or more past the lease start date that would put your application at a really big disadvantage of being approved as that would be rental income the landlord would be missing out on and needs. Unfortunately, it’s common for tenants to have to pay 2 rents while they transition from 1 property to the next.


There is an old theory a property manager would give a tenant a 6 months lease first to ensure everything is OK. Asset Agents has not done this in a long time. 6 months go by very fast. It’s expensive and time-consuming to create lease renewals and we feel that if we are careful about what tenants we place there should not be any issues anyway. Often we will get a quality tenant to apply but they only want a 6-month lease so we instead approve someone else that would be happy with 12 months. 

I hope this has helped you get some ideas of what you can do to improve your applications to give you the very best chance of being approved. 

Contact Byron today.

Shoot me an email.

I’m a licensed real estate agent on the Sunshine Coast Qld Australia. I have over 20 years of experience selling residential property and managing & selling investment properties here on the Sunshine Coast.

Let me know how I can help you.