Here are some tips to assist you as you prepare for tenancy:
1. How Much Can You Afford to Pay?
– Remember, that on securing a rental you will usually be required to make a rental deposit inclusive of the first month’s rent and the equivalent amount in the form of a refundable security deposit. Some landlords may also expect a last month’s rent in addition.
– You should plan your budget to take into consideration any monthly utilities such as water, electricity, cable/satellite TV and phone/internet service. Will you also have to cover pool & garden maintenance? Will you require a housekeeper weekly?
2. When Should you Start Searching?
– You should start your hunt for property up to 6-8 weeks prior to your preferred start date. Landlords are weary of those who wait until last minute.
3. Start Viewing Properties
– Since the rental market moves quickly you should move fast to secure the perfect property. Try to view properties in quick succession so that you can make a quick decision.
a) Do you prefer unfurnished, semi-furnished (kitchen & laundry appliances), furnished (furniture & appliances) or fully furnished (furnished with crockery, cutlery & linen).
b) Does it have enough space? Will your furniture fit?
c) Does the decor suit your taste? Can you make any modifications or paint an accent wall?
d) Who is handling the tenancy? Will it be the landlord or a property manager?
e) Confirm if any snagging or minor repairs are being done prior to rental as this will impact your decision.
4. Tenancy Application
– Agents or landlords will often request previous landlord and job references
– Confirmation of earnings per annum via a job letter, to substantiate earnings. Earnings should normally be equal to the monthly rental rate, multiplied by 30.
– If you are self-employed you may be required to provide an accountant’s or bank reference or some other evidence of income
5. Requirements to Move In
– A rental agreement is a legally binding document which ensures that both the Landlord and the Tenant adhere to the rights and obligations outlined therein.
– Once all parties agree, sign and you pay your rental deposit, you are legally bound by this agreement until the end of tenancy.
– Once the security deposit is paid in full, along with the first month’s rent and the rental agreement is fully signed by both parties, the property is secured and keys can be released to you.
6. Staying Safe in Your Rental Property
– Does your rental property feel secure? Discuss the locking systems on the doors and if you need additional bolts or dead blots.
– Are any electricals faulty? Is any area of the property a liability for falls? Are handrails secure etc? Any issues should be discussed with the landlord.
– Tenants should consider protecting their belongings with contents insurance
7. Moving In
– Ensure that utilities are transferred into your name prior to moving in. Try to apply for the phone/internet service 3 weeks prior to your start date to ensure that these services are up and running. If the electricity has been office it usually takes about 3 business days to be activated.
-Be prepared to review and sign off on an inventory list at the start of tenancy, to confirm all items in the property and their condition. This will be referred to at the end of tenancy.
8. Enjoying your accommodation
– Pay rent on time and alert the landlord or property manager if ever your payment may be late due to some unforeseen circumstance.
– Property inspections may be stated in your rental agreement and therefore you should expect your landlord or property manager to to give you notice of any walkthrough. Use this opportunity to mention any maintenance issues which might need to be addressed.
9. The End of your Tenancy
– Either 1 or 2 months prior to the end of your tenancy, you should let your landlord or property manager know if you will be extending your stay or moving out
10. Moving Out
– Any rubbish should be removed from the property along with your belongings. Ensure that the property is cleaned and in appropriate order for inspection prior to your end date.
– Your utility bills should be paid in full and all services terminated or transferred back over to the landlord if requested.
– Arrange a day and time to return the keys
– If there are no deductions or disputes, your security deposit should be returned within 7-14 days as stated on the rental agreement