© Property Professor articles — www.thepropertyprofessor.net.au.
Reproduced with permission.
AT SOME stage in our lives, most people have been involved in finding a property to rent.
Here is my list of major points to keep in mind when looking for your next rental property.
Location is critical when it comes to property. It is no different when looking for a place to rent.
Ask yourself several questions. Do you need to be close to work? Or the city? Is lifestyle important to you so you need to be close to the beach?
The closer you are to the CBD or the water, the higher the rent will be.
Don’t underestimate the benefit of proximity to amenities. Living near your children’s school can make a world of difference, as can living near a supermarket, especially if you don’t have a car. Buying groceries and trying to hold them on a crowded bus is not fun.
If you catch a train or bus to work, settling on a property that is a 20-minute walk from the nearest train station is not wise.
When it is hot or you’re running late, distance from public transport will become crucial.
If you don’t mind driving to the station or bus stop, distance may not be an issue, but check parking restrictions.
Most renters don’t want a big backyard but those who do have to pay extra.
If a backyard is important to you, whether it is for the kids, pets, for entertaining or for having a garden, be prepared to pay more in rent and spend more time on maintenance.
Does the property come with a carpark? Houses usually have a driveway or garage, but some apartments and units do not have a car space.
This means cars need to be parked on the street. Not only is this less secure, it may also involve applying for a parking permit from the local council to avoid parking fines in timed areas.
If renting a unit or apartment with a car space, be aware that you are paying a premium for the space whether it used or not as it is included in the rent.
Check out the security of the property. Are there fences around the house? Is the apartment building secure or could anyone walk in? Are there dodgy-looking alleys nearby that could be a problem when coming home late?
Also be wary of properties that back on to parks. It can be an advantage to live close to a park, but it can pose a security threat at night.
Keep these tips in mind because if you find the right property, it might save you from looking for another rental property in six or 12 months’ time.
– Property lecturer Peter Koulizos