"Our members report that the summer rush for rental properties is on again, with many suburbs experiencing strong turnout at viewings and multiple applications for individual tenancies," Mr Druitt said.
Mr Druitt said the March quarter was traditionally a busy time in the rental sector as people made a fresh start for the year, settled into a new job or relocated for the start of the university calendar.
"The added difficulty we have this year is the skills shortage, with many real estate offices understaffed and a lack of property managers in WA to help ensure efficiency.
"This is impacting on the turn-around time with applications as busy offices struggle with an overwhelming number of hopeful but anxious tenants. One agency reported more than 185 phone calls about a single property," Mr Druitt said.
Mr Druitt said it was impractical for property managers to return calls to everyone who makes an enquiry, and so new methods of communication such as bulk text messaging and broadcast emails were being used to advertise home opens.
"Under the circumstances prospective tenants are urged to follow closely the directions of the property manager and to be patient as office staff sort through applications and check references.
"It’s important for both the owner and the tenant that all the documentation is done properly. However where tenants can help greatly is to ensure that application forms are filled out fully and correctly, referees can be easily contacted and the bond money is ready.
"Owners are ideally looking for tenants who can demonstrate security of income, reliable references and that any rental history is positive. The more tenants can do to demonstrate this, the smoother the application process," Mr Druitt said.
REIWA data currently show that median rents in Perth have climbed to $320 per week, while the vacancy rate has again slipped below 2 per cent.