Renting a property allows more flexibility than owning a home. This is ideal for those who could be faced with sudden changes such as a job relocation. Renting requires no long-term commitment from a Tenant, and is the best option if you don’t intend on staying in one place for a long time.
The only insurance required by a Tenant will be to cover the contents of the home, while all maintenance work on the property is for the Homeowner’s account, as is homeowner’s insurance.
Renting a property can be a great solution for some people. Here are some good reasons to become a tenant:
- You can change location whenever you like
- If an appliance on the lease breaks down you don’t have to pay for it
- You can live in up market suburbs more affordably
- Interest rates and council fees aren’t on your radar, and
- Renting can be cheaper than buying
- Renting whilst scouting a new area to buy property is a good idea
The following is a quick guide to making renting a success…
Applying for a property
You will probably be one of many people inspecting a property to rent. You need to distinguish yourself over the other applicants – or, more correctly, you need to avoid distinguishing yourself as an unattractive applicant. From the point of view of a landlord here are a few tips to make yourself a more attractive tenant candidate:
- First impressions count. If you are inspecting a property, wear clean clothes, be polite, ask permission to look around and take your shoes off at the door. The agent will be assessing you and will see how you behave during the inspection as an indicator of how you will behave as a tenant.
- Have all your tenancy history, e.g., previous references and payment statements on hand and ready to provide a hard copy with your tenancy application to save the agent time and effort. This includes 100 points of I.D.
- Landlords want two things in a tenant: Prompt rent payment and care for the property. Anything you can do to reassure the agent/landlord that you will be exemplary in those two qualities will help you.
- Don’t mess around with the application if you like the place. Fill it out on the spot and hand it to the agent or landlord personally if possible, or hand it in as soon as possible (e.g. at 9am Monday morning if you inspect on the weekend). Fill it out neatly in legible writing.
The documents a tenant should receive before moving in.
The documentation required to be given to you at the time of sign-up differs slightly from state to state and country
- Copy of the tenancy agreement
- Copy of the bond lodgement form
- Original and copies of the condition report – to be checked, completed and signed, then returned to the office in the required time frame
- Receipt for initial rent amount, lease fees and bond
- Photocopy of all keys and remote controls (if any)
- Emergency contact number details
What is the inspection checklist?
Your landlord or real estate agent may carry out a periodic inspection of the property to ensure it is being well cared for and any routine repairs are made. This inspection may include the following:
- The property, garden and outside surrounding areas are being maintained in a clean and tidy condition.
- The property is not being damaged in any way.
- There are no more than the numbers of people specified on the tenancy agreement living at the property.
- No pets are housed at the property, unless agreed to.
- Any maintenance issues identified can be attended to.
A condition report must be given to all tenants, prior to their moving into any rental premises but not be signed at this time. Legislation allows tenants a number of days to check the details completed by the agent/owner on the condition report, to confirm or disagree with those details.
Before deciding whether you’re ready for the long-term financial commitment of home ownership, renting for the time being can be a great option to follow.