Once you know where you want to rent, finding the right rental property should be a breeze! To make sure your easy living dream doesn’t get blown away with a flurry of unexpected or compromising problems, here is a checklist to consider before signing that lease:
- You can’t wait to get that place of your own, but take your time and don’t be pressured into signing something you aren’t 100% sure of. A lease is a contractual agreement that you must take seriously, so do your homework and ask questions to ensure the place you are leasing is the one you want.
- Work out who you want to live with carefully, and whose name(s) will appear on the lease. All parties to a lease are responsible for it.
- Don’t over extend a lease term if you aren’t sure of your tenure and other movements. Landlords often like to obtain longer leases and are likely to give better terms for a longer lease, but this becomes a trap if you need or want to move after 6 months.
- Make a list of what you really want before you head out. Too often those that really wanted a sunny corner came back with a shady place, or those that wanted an entertaining area came back with a larger bedroom and small entertainment area. Be practical about the residence, especially regarding stairs. If you’ve got a bad back, don’t get the third floor. Be wary of incentives that aren’t right for you; don’t let a free week’s rent or other incentive mean that the wrong place for you becomes your home.
- Understand the car parking situation. Is your car space dedicated or reserved for you? Can it be used by others in the event of a party with many visitors? Where and how many visitor car spaces are there? Is there enough street parking? What car park security and access is there?
- Understand laundry arrangements. Most modern properties are fully equipped with connections for washers and dryers, but many older properties aren’t. If your laundry is shared, check out the quality, access and privacy and if there are any additional costs involved for usage.
- Is the hot water hot and is there enough of it? Ask about the tank size and have a look at it. Is it enough for all the members of your household?
- Ask the landlord/agent about repairs; find out in advance what their repairs, damage and emergency policy is. A good, precise and confident response is the sign of a planned and working repairs system. You need to know about this in advance of anything happening. Check out the main appliances to see whether or not they are in working order.
- Is there enough storage? Assess whether there is enough internally and whether there is any other storage access in the complex or on the grounds.
- Ask someone about the lease if you are unsure. Lease documents are self explanatory and property managers and landlords are most often helpful but the lease is a contractual document that may have costly penalties if you don’t comply with it’s terms. Discuss matters like break-costs, late payment penalties, options to renew, possible subletting and bond return conditions. Get independent advice if you are unsure.
Enjoy renting, take your time, be sure and act when you are ready.