Essential tips to remember while looking for rental properties
If you have begun your search for rental properties and spotted a few promising homes, it is critical that you keep your wits about you. While looking for properties to rent, many tenants (especially those renting for the first time) may give in to the excitement of the process and make costly mistakes. Remaining as objective as possible while shopping for a new home and viewing rental properties is key, and the following advice may assist you in making the right choice.
Learn about rental scams and how to avoid them
Tenants who choose to look for rental properties without the help of a reputable real estate agency run the risk of falling victims to scams. Internet listings that depict a gorgeous home at a fraction of the monthly rental price you would expect to pay are normally a major red flag. It is possible to find lovely homes at great rates, but listings that seem too good to be true usually are. Never transfer any money or sign a contract before viewing the property and speaking to the landlord in person. Throughout the process, it is crucial to keep your guard up.
Create a realistic budget and allow for some wiggle room
Before you get your hopes up by viewing listings outside your budget, first sit down and work out how much you can realistically afford every month. Make this initial budget lower than you can afford in order to give yourself some room to breathe if you happen to go slightly over budget. For some people, a good rule of thumb while renting is never to exceed 30% of your take-home income for rental fees, but this can be adjusted according to your needs.
Get to know the neighbourhood better before renting
It is one thing to find the perfect home to rent, but if the neighbourhood is not what you like, moving there may be a major mistake. Before renting, visit the area several times first, making sure you stop by throughout the week at different times of the day. This may give you a better idea of the activity level, noise, and kind of people who live there. If possible, speak to some people who live in the area and ask about issues such as crime rates or how often disruptions to water, electricity, and other municipal services occur.
Don’t forget about your deposit
Before a rental lease is finalised, tenants are usually required to pay a deposit upfront – this is generally the equivalent of one month’s worth of rent. This deposit acts as a safety net for the landlord, which they can use to carry out any repairs needed on the property during the tenancy. If no repairs are needed, this deposit is returned to the tenant. According to South African law, landlords are required to invest the deposit received by new tenants in an interest-bearing account, and any interest accrued is owed to the tenant too.
Understand your contract before you sign it
Your lease will lay out the terms of agreement between you and the landlord and misunderstanding it could lead to problems in the future or even costly legal battles. Partnering with a professional estate agent will help you clarify any terms you may not understand.
A great real estate agency makes a world of difference
It is possible to find rental properties without the help of an agent, but a reputable agency simplifies the process and offers you greater protection as a tenant. We at Fine & Country South Africa have extensive specialist knowledge of the luxury market in South Africa, and with our reach and exclusive listings, you are sure to find outstanding rental properties.
To learn more about our services and listings, speak to our friendly team today.