7 Things you should think about before renting your next home

Being a tenant comes with minimal responsibilities and without the costs of being a homeowner. That’s why it’s a more appealing option than buying property for many people. But the reality is that you’re living in someone else’s property and that comes with certain responsibilities. To be a good tenant, you need to be clear on a couple of points. Here are some of them.

Can you pay your rent on time?

If you’re going to be renting a property, it’s essential that you’re sure you can pay your rent on time. Your landlord very likely has a bond on the property and is counting on your payment so they can make theirs. It’s a good idea to have a couple of months’ worth of rent payments saved up so that you’re able to make the payment should something unexpected happen.

Can you meet other financial obligations?

It often comes as a surprise to tenants when they’re faced with the prospect of paying first and last month’s rent when moving into a new place. Every lease agreement and landlord is different. You need to know what you’ll be expected to pay before signing anything so that you’re not taken by surprise.

Can you treat the property with respect?

It’s essential that you’re able to treat this property as your own. You need to be sure that you are able to treat the property with respect. This means ensuring it’s clean and well-maintained. You’ll also need to keep your landlord in the loop about any work that needs to get done in the house. If something breaks or needs to be repaired, it’s essential that you let them know timeously so they can arrange for professionals to do this work. This goes for your landlord’s workers too. You need to treat them with respect and strive to not damage the relationship they have with your landlord in any way.

Are you certain about the neighbourhood?

Don’t rush into making a decision when renting a property. Check the neighbourhood out carefully and be certain that you’d like to live there. Is it convenient for you to get to and from work? You should also be sure that all of the shops and services you make use of are located nearby. Take a drive past at specific times of the day so you can see what it’s like in the early morning and late evening. There’s not much worse when renting a new home than finding out your new apartment, which you had thought was located in quiet area, is on the route to five local schools leading to daily traffic jams on your street. Or perhaps there’s a popular club just over the street and you can never enjoy a restful night’s sleep.

Are you sure you want to live there for a certain period of time?

Your lease should stipulate the amount of time that you’ll be renting the property from your landlord. If you want to leave the property before that time is over, you’ll need to discuss it with them and they might refuse to end the agreement early. Neither you nor your landlord can make changes to your original agreement without checking with the other party first. If you’ve signed a lease for six months or one year, you’ll need to be sure that you might have to live there for that entire period of time.

Are you okay with your landlord’s policy on pets?

You might not think you want a kitten or a puppy right now. But what if you want one in a couple of months? It’s important that you know what their policy is on you having pets in their home and whether they’re open to being flexible. Understandably, they might not be open to you having a large Labrador but they might be okay with a precious poodle. In the same way, they might not appreciate you filling your flat with 15 cats. But they’d be completely okay with one well-trained cat. Knowing their policy ahead of time will likely lead to less disagreements and possibly heartbreak down the line.

Are there any changes you want to be made before you move in?

If you feel like the property needs to be repainted or recarpeted before you’ll move in, you’re entitled to ask the landlord to do so. It’s important that you ask the question before you sign the lease. Otherwise, they might refuse to do the upgrades and you’ll be stuck renting a home you aren’t happy with. Of course, it’s in the landlord’s interests to do the upgrades because, if you asked for them, it’s likely subsequent tenants will too.