A great price and location make a difference, but the ultimate rental property will meet your needs on multiple levels. Here are nine signs you’re on the money with a good home.
1. The suburb and location are a bit of a vibe
Where you call home is important! You’re off to a good start when you find a property that’s close to work, with great amenities like shops and public transport and proximity to your loved ones.
As a renter, you should look for a property that gives you the best mix of lifestyle, amenities and commute. If public transport’s your go-to for daily travel, you’ll want a home that has bus stops or a train station nearby. Give the place a commute test run before you sign a lease, if you have time!
2. The space is perfect for what you need
Storage and space are key when you’re sizing up a rental property. If you’re moving with furniture, bring a tape measure to viewings to ensure your couch will fit the lounge room nook.
Ideally, a good property will have enough cupboards and storage space to allow you to live without being surrounded by exposed clutter. Don’t be afraid to peek inside kitchen cupboards during a viewing.
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3. The parking sitch is a breeze
Street parking may be available, so ask the question at the viewing. The agent should be able to tell you whether you can access a free residential parking permit where only paid parking is available.
4. It’s a good price – and there are extras included
Who doesn’t love a bargain? If you find a home within your budget that has everything you need, you’re set. Find out if the asking rent includes some or all utilities, and check the state/territory rules because they vary.
A swimming pool and beaut garden might also be appealing if included, but ask the property manager whether you or the landlord will be responsible for maintaining them throughout your lease.
5. The neighbours are kind of ideal
A great question to ask a property manager at a viewing is whether the building is made up of many owner-occupiers. Sometimes a higher % of owner-occupiers – especially if you live in a strata building – can be good. Longer-term residents are more invested in the building’s security, their right to peace and general upkeep, so renting alongside them can be an advantage.
Neighbours can be a great source of information about a property – and they may be able to fill you in on little quirks the property ad fails to mention.
6. Everything actually works as it should
When you walk through a property, check to see if there are phone and internet sockets and a TV aerial. If everything’s working from the outset, that’s a good sign. And if the property doesn’t have what you need, ask the question.
If having NBN is a must for you, could you get permission to have it installed? Find out who is responsible for the costs. Look around to see if there are blown light globes and that the windows open and shut with ease. These things are worth testing.
7. The home feels safe
Does the property you’re viewing feel secure? That’s a great sign. You can always ask the property manager if they’re aware of any past security issues.
While you’re at the viewing, have a look for deadlocks, window locks and any other security features. The level of security can make a massive impact on your comfort while renting.
8. It feels clean inside and out
In most cases, rentals will be leased out in the same condition you inspect them. So, if you spot a lot of junk around the garden shed and the garden needs weeding, ask the property manager if these issues will be addressed before the move-in date.
You should be on track if the rental has clean walls and carpets, well-maintained amenities, and no obvious pest issues. If you do spot something off, make sure you keep a record of it as part of your Property Condition Report.
9. You feel comfortable with the landlord
When viewing a property, feel free to ask questions about the landlord. If you find out where the landlord is located and the number of investment properties they have, you might get a better idea of whether they’ll be easy to reach for repair and maintenance requirements.
The property manager might also give you an idea of the landlord’s future plans with the property, and the likelihood of lease extension beyond the initial six or 12 months you sign.
Good luck with your search!
Rent.com.au is Australia's largest company dedicated to renters and is owned and operated by ASX-listed Rent.com.au Limited (RNT:ASX). For over 15 years, Rent.com.au has exclusively focused on making renters' lives easier by making it easier to find a property, secure it, move in and pay rent.