Your checklist before choosing a rental home

Category Property Advice

So, the time has come to rent your first home, and yes, we completely understand that the process can be daunting. To make it a little easier, we have put together a tenant checklist to help you find your perfect rental home.

Let's get started ...

1.Set a budget

If you're renting your first home, you may underestimate the importance of budgeting before you commit to paying thousands of rands each month. Drawing up a budget can get tricky, especially if you have very little experience managing your own money. But it's important to remember that understanding your finances will help you decide the type and size of property you can afford, as well as help you choose a location that most suits your budget. A basic budget involves calculating the amount of money you have after you subtract monthly expenses (including living expenses) and savings from your monthly income. The amount you're left with is the rental costs you will be able to afford. 

2. Check around for insect or rodent infestation

If a home is insect or rodent-infested this may be easily overlooked while you're viewing it, especially if you're preoccupied with other questions around the property. But don't let this aspect go unnoticed - look around for potential signs of infestation such as droppings or holes chewed through walls and floors. Although this will be unsettling for many, it is a necessary step as it allows you to choose another place without this problem or you can request for the owner to fumigate before you move in.

3. Inquire about available parking for both residents and visitors

If you commit to a rental property without giving much thought to the parking situation, you may find yourself driving around in circles with no place for your vehicle to call home. This is especially true for a shared home or sectional-title. To avoid this scenario, ensure that you get the answers to key parking questions. Find out if the home comes with free parking or if you have to pay for this. And if you have more than one car, find out if there will be space for you to secure additional parking and what the costs of this will be. Lastly, many people forget to ask about visitors parking and this proves disastrous when friends and family come over without any place to park. So be sure to inquire if there is enough parking for visitors, and if not, ask the owner about the alternative options. 

4. Understand the Lease Agreement

When you find a home to rent, you will first have to sign a lease agreement which is legally binding for both you (the tenant) and the owner. The agreement will outline various aspects such as the costs related to the rental property, how it should be managed, length of the lease, renewal and cancellation process, and how to be a good owner/tenant. Considering its importance, you will need to read through it carefully and ensure you understand every part before you sign on the dotted line. 

5. Know the utilities you're paying

When you're reading through your lease agreement, be sure to understand the amount you're paying for utilities - this includes water and electricity costs which are charged by your local municipality. This cost may also extend to internet, parking, sewerage, and refuse removal. 

In some cases, the owner will pay for certain utilities, while you will be liable to pay for others. These costs average around R1200 each month, therefore, it is imperative to know this amount as this could be a defining factor for whether you can afford a certain property or not. 

If you're currently looking for your ideal rental property in the greater Gauteng, Witbank or Ellisras, we at CSi Property Group have the right rental management team for you who will guide you along the process. Speak to us today to find out more. 

Author: CSi Property Group

Submitted 14 Aug 19 / Views 452