21 Aug 13
Looking for a property to rent can be an exciting time as it usually heralds some type of new beginning. Perhaps it is a relocation to take up a work promotion, or the start of a new romantic relationship or even moving back closer to home after some years away. Regardless of the reason, finding a rental property that meets the needs of everyone involved can also be frustrating, especially when stocks of good rental properties are low.
Instead of bemoaning the situation, there are a few easy and proactive steps that prospective tenants can take to increase their chances of getting the property they want. With rentals being as competitive as they are, the first step is to start looking as soon as it becomes definite that a move to a new area will be required. Depending on the state of the market, it is wise to start looking around and attending inspections at least six week prior to the date the property will be needed.
Have References and Credit Checks Ready
Naturally, renting a dwelling is a much quicker process than buying one. An agent will usually be able to approve an application in two to three days, so having everything readily available is essential. Chase up previous landlords for references, and make sure there will be no problems with any credit checks that will be done. It would be very disappointing to lose the ideal rental property simply because of a lack of attention to these unexciting but important details.
Don't get carried away with extras that may seem important in the heat of the moment, but that will not matter too much once you have moved in. Things like a pool or spa make a place more comfortable, but should not be chosen in preference to things that are vital to daily living. Reliable public transport in close proximity, the size of the dwelling, the number of bedrooms, or getting permission to have a pet will all mean more in the long run than being able to do a few laps after work.
Check out the Neighbours
Anyone who has had the awful experience of living next to dreadful neighbours can appreciate the importance of checking out the people living close by, either with the agent or with the previous tenants. They will usually be quite honest and say whether or not next door is the hub for noisy parties every weekend. The prospective tenant may still take the property because it is perfect in every other aspect, but at least it has been an informed decision.
Most agents specialising in rental properties recognise a good tenant who will pay the rent and look after the property. They know the tenancy will be hassle-free for them, so they do their best to match such a tenant with a place that meets as many of their needs as possible.