6 Things You Wish You Knew Before Renting
If you are ready to rent, you are likely to be super excited about moving into your own space but also a bit wary as to what to expect. Renting can be hard if you are not aware of all the different steps involved.
With the current rental market, it is easy to go into panic mode and sign a contract out of fear of losing out on a property. However, it is important to take a pause and figure out exactly what you want by asking yourself some of the following questions.
This blog piece will give you some great tips and pointers on how to navigate entering into a lease so that you can embark on your renting journey with confidence.
1. Figure out where you want to live
When choosing a property to rent, location is really important. You may be swayed by the modern features of a property, but neglect to consider that moving in will mean an extra-long commute time to work. It may also be the most beautiful apartment on the street but located in an unsafe area. Prior to signing any contract, do some thorough research on the area, or, look into suburbs that are close to work, school, family, or friends so that you will not end up regretting your choice.
2. The state of the property
Inspecting the potential rental property is a must. While it may be tempting to sign away as soon as the landlord says yes, it is important to know if what you are moving into is an accurate reflection of what is being presented. There could be issues that are not visible on an online listing, or, there may be noisy neighbours in the street during the day. It is recommended that you visit the property for a mid-week viewing as well as on a weekend. It also does not hurt to do a ‘drive by’ or walk by the area to get familiar with the neighbourhood and potential issues such as traffic and noise.
3. Who lived there before, why did they leave?
It is good practice to not only ask the landlord or real estate agent why the property is up for rent but to also ask about the current tenants. Getting some background on the tenants may give you some helpful insight into whether or not the property is worth moving into. For example, if the tenants lived in the property for a long time then it may suggest it is a good and affordable place to live. On the other hand, a long list of short-term renters may suggest an unpleasant property, difficult landlord, or disruptive neighbours.
4. Living with roommates
It is important to understand who you are going to be living with if you have decided to rent a property with roommates. Let’s face it, you do not want to end up getting stuck in a lease with someone who never cleans the dishes!
Prior to moving in with someone, it is a good idea to ask them the following questions:
- “Why did you leave your last home?”
- “What time do you get up? What is your work schedule like?”
- “How do you spend your weekends?”
- “Do you have a partner/significant other?”
- “What are your expectations as a roommate?”
The above will hopefully gain more insight into your roommate and uncover whether they are a good fit for you. If you are somewhat of a homebody, you do not really want a roommate who is a 24/7 party-goer. Similarly, if they are in a relationship, will you be okay with the possibility of their partner occasionally staying over?
If you are moving in with a friend, be sure that the two of you lay out some boundaries/expectations as to what will and will not be tolerated when sharing a home, as it will save a lot of stress later on.
5. There is important paperwork to have ready
The first couple of weeks of moving into a new place is the most crucial period for a tenancy. If you are a first-time renter, you may feel overwhelmed with the paperwork you are required to prepare. However, making sure you have read through these documents and signed them will ensure nothing will go wrong.
By checking the following, you will be able to sleep easier for the remainder of your lease:
- Read your contract/lease agreement thoroughly and make sure you understand the terms and conditions. If you are unsure about anything, please ask your property manager.
- Read through, check and sign the copy of the bond lodgment form and the condition report prior to returning to the office.
- Keep a copy of every document that you sign, including your receipt for the initial rent amount, lease fees, and bond along with emergency contact details and a photocopy of the house keys and remote controls (if any).
As a new tenant, you will also be given a property condition report that you will have to fill out and sign. This condition report outlines the state of the property room-by-room, including any fittings and fixtures. If filled incorrectly, or not at all, you could be liable for damages that were never your fault. Be sure to return your copy of the report to your property manager promptly (generally within a period of seven days).
6. Snap some photos before you move in
You may have already snapped up the property, but there is more ‘snapping’ left to do! Along with your filled-in copy of the condition report, it is a good idea to take high-quality photos of the house or apartment - particularly the fittings and fixtures noted in the property condition report. This way, you have some hard evidence of the condition of the property when you moved in which will eliminate the possibility of any future disputes.
Step into tenancy confidently with LJ Hooker
Knowing how to prepare for renting an apartment or house will make the entire lease process far easier. Renting a property is an exciting milestone, paving the way for greater independence and a space to call your own. By taking some time to consider the type of rental property you want, you will save yourself a lot of time, money, and frustration.
For hopeful tenants, the team at LJ Hooker is here to assist you. We can offer advice and guidance for renting a house so that you can find and move into your dream property with ease. Find an agent today.