8 October 2015
Making the move from home
Moving out of home for the first time can be an exciting adventure but moving into the rental market for the first time can be tricky. Here are a few tips to help you into the market safely.
Your first step is to know your budget. You need to ensure that the rent is not more than a third of your income. This is a commonly used industry standard to determine if the property is affordable for the applicant. So work out how much you can afford on rent. Allow for the bond, at the commencement of every lease you will be asked to pay a security bond of either four or six weeks rent. As well as the bond you will need to pay the first two weeks rent, so plan ahead as you will need to come up with up to eight weeks rent before you can move in.
When looking for properties ensure you do a thorough inspection, taking into condition and age of the property, be on the lookout for signs that the property is not being maintained i.e. loose door handles, curtains off rails, flyscreens intact. Poor repairs are a warning sign of a disinterested property owner. Take note of the condition of the major appliances for example stove, air conditioners & hot water services. What is in the immediate surroundings of the property i.e. is there a train line behind the property, is there a shopping centre nearby with its delivery entry close to the property.
Upon getting accepted for a property you will be asked to enter into a written tenancy agreement. If the landlord/agent is not asking you to sign any paperwork it might be advisable to walk way, a lease is there to protect you and the owner. Make sure that you read thru the tenancy agreement carefully and ask questions about any part you are unclear about. It might pay to take a parent or trusted friend to come with you and assist. At the time of being given the keys you should also be provided with a written condition report. This is to detail the condition of the property i.e. any marks on walls & carpets, cleanliness of the property & condition of the garden. It is a requirement that this is provided to you. You then have two weeks to make any notes and additions to the report. This is strongly advisable to complete and return as this will help minimise disputes at the end of your tenancy, take your own photos & provide copies of them when you return the inspection report to the agent.
Throughout your tenancy you will be required to maintain the property in a reasonably clean & tidy manner. The owner or agent will inspect the property several times a year to check that you are doing this and identify maintenance issues at the property. It’s important to take a bit of time to ensure that the property is presented clean & tidy at these inspections ensure bathrooms are clean, shower screens clean, floors are clear of debris and vacuumed. Where the property has gardens ensure you regularly water them, mow lawns and ensure they are weed free for inspections.
Any repairs arising they should be promptly reported to the landlord or agent, in writing via email is best so you have a record of it. Don’t arrange repairs yourself. If the repairs are urgent telephone the landlord or agent and they can arrange repairs. It’s important to keep in mind that the owner isn’t required to repair every minor little detail in the property, they are required to maintain the property to a reasonable standard keeping in mind the age of the property.
Following these few steps should get you on the right track with your first rental experience.
Raine & Horne South Australia