Home Renting Tips

Home Renting tips. The general condition of your property and the landlord's availability are two important topics to cover before renting a home. If you are planning on renting a home, there are some tips...

If you are planning on renting a home, there are some tips you should know about. Our apartment locating expert, Jerry Yelvington, real estate agent for Avery Windsor Properties, says there are a few things you can do to make your rental property work to its maximum efficiency.

"Just look at the general condition of the property. Ask the owner how many properties he has and who does the maintenance. Ask if he is an out of town landlord," Yelvington says.

Yelvington syas when looking for a place, plan your weekend of inspections. Get up really early and buy the paper, then map out what order to best inspect the properties to maximize your time. Then make your calls to agents and organize viewing times.
Have a list of "must have" attributes of your potential new home, and then a second list of "nice to haves". When speaking with the agent, run through these checklists with them.

Don't forget that you can negotiate on rent from the outset. For example, if a house is advertised for $250 per week, and you have inspected it and don't believe it's worth that much but you still like it, you can lodge your application at $240 per week (and explain to the agent why so they can pass your reasoning along to the owner). If you sign a six or 12 month lease, they cannot alter that amount until the lease is up for renewal.

Yelvington says inspect your lease agreement for your rental home carefully. In the happiness of the moment of finally finding a nice place to live, and whether you have an understanding agent or not, that contract is a legally binding document and you shouldn't just sign it without fully understanding it. For example, if the agent tells you that you are allowed to have pets, understand exactly what they mean by that (does it exclude cats but dogs are ok?). Ensure they have elaborated on this in writing in the contract, and that both of you initial it. If they aren't sure, get them to call the owner and don't sign anything until it is clear.

Ensure you spend the maximum amount of time you can on the entrance inspection report. Be really fussy and don't overlook the little things, such as: existing dust/cobwebs on blinds, grimy kitchen cupboards, dirty filters in stove rangehoods, scratches on polished floors, any marks on carpet, marks on doors and walls, built up dust on ceiling fans, missing lightbulbs, weeds in garden beds, neatness of lawn/garden, general condition of exterior paintwork, whether guttering is intact, etc. The more detailed you make your initial report, the easier it will be for you when you leave.

Last but not least, Yelvington says make sure your contents insurance is amended if you have flatmates, otherwise your insurance agency won't cover you if you make a claim. Things like window locks and deadlocks on doors also work in your favor for contents insurance - if this is important to you, you should look for a rental home with these included, or negotiate with the agent/owner to have them installed.

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