When you’re looking to move and renting a property is what you want to do, you ideally need to take your time with the process. This isn’t always possible, but either way here are a few things you should keep in mind when looking for a rental property.
Keep Your Property Search Wide
This doesn’t just mean to keep an open mind regarding the location of the property, its size and how much it is going to cost you each week, but also your search method. You should use every tool at your disposal and this means both online and offline – websites, apps, agents, etc. – being quick off the mark is massive these days when renting a property.
Have All Your Documents Ready
Whether you’re dealing direct with the landlord or going through a property manager they’ll want to see proof that you are a viable and reliable choice. You should be asked for all your relevant documentation (you should be worried if you’re not) and we’d recommend having them ready both online and in paper form to give you the edge over the competition – and it is a competition, the rental market is a very competitive one!
The Look and Feel Of The Place
Normally you only get a few minutes to take a look around and make up your mind (along with everyone else that is interested in renting the property). This means you need to be prepared, know what you are looking at and for, think clearly and/or just go with your gut. You might not be able to get into the place until 10am on a Saturday morning to have a stickybeak, but you can research it online beforehand – the photos, info, the local area, etc. And you can get to the viewing early to check the outside of the property and the surrounding area in person before you even go in. Most people get a gut feeling about somewhere, and that often is the result of a combination of multiple factors. Making a checklist can help – is the property clean inside and out, modern, does it have mod-cons, do you get a parking space, how far is it to the shops, etc.
How Comfortable Is It Going To Be
Things such as good windows and air-con can make a massive difference to how comfortable a house or apartment is, and you need to think about all of these kinds of angles when renting a property. It’s important to think what the property will be like all year around – you don’t want to be freezing in winter and boiling in summer. Some things might come under personal preference (you like gas cooktops and there’s an electric one) and others might be financial (you like taking baths but water isn’t included in the rent). A massive one for some people is; are pets allowed?
That brings us onto the biggest one of them all.
How Much Is The Rent?
For most people the deciding factor that trumps all the others is How Much Is The Rent per week/month. This can be broken down further into Is The Rent Fair, and ultimately, Can We Afford It?
Can You Go Up A Band
If you can stretch to a bit more per month you might find that you can go up a “band” in the rental market. Going up a “band” might open up a range of properties to you that you didn’t previously know about. Inversely, considering going down a “band” might be worth considering in some situations.
Sometimes apartments in a new build can deliver everything you are after if you’re looking for a modern place with mod-cons and so on – although they normally come with a price tag to match.
Think Outside The Box
Moving every six months can be something you could do without, so why not ask the landlord/property manager if you can rent the property for longer – 12 months for example. It might even make a positive impression on them and make you stand out from the competition.
Money Money Money
It isn’t a case of once you’ve decided to go for a place then you get your finances in order, these days proving you have the funds is part of the process. So, make sure you have the bond in full and ready to go, and the first month’s rent to go with it – which will both vary obviously depending on the property in question.
There are financial systems in place to help facilitate the smooth and fair process of exchanging sums of money such as bonds and rent payments. We strongly advise you look into what is out there and available to you – just trusting the landlord/agent will do the “right” thing isn’t wise.
Know Your Rights
Also make sure you know your rights. These differ from state to state, and although you should know which one the property is in, make sure to check if it is right on the border, and know your rights – Tenants NSW and Choice both have plenty of advice on your rights when renting in NSW for example.
You Have To Live There
At the end of the day you have to live in the property and pay rent for the privilege, so you need to do your best to make sure you pick the right fit for you (physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, etc.) and to also make sure you don’t get stung in any way – even with all the right planning and positive action it can still happen, but you need to do your best to not get caught out.
Renting A Property – Conclusion
As with most things there are two sides to the story and Renting A Property is no different. Here are a couple of articles that might help you get a better picture of both sides: 5 Ways to be an Excellent Tenant and 10 Things To Know About Renting To Millenials