In the quest to find the dream rental, it’s no secret that renters are finding open-house viewings competitive and time consuming. With increased pressure on vacancy rates, renters often have 15 minutes, or less, to look through a property and make a decision about their choice of home.
To simplify the process, Rent.com.au has compiled a Rental Viewing Checklist to save time.
As more and more people choose renting as a conscious lifestyle option, over the traditional notion of home ownership, securing a long-term home that reflects an individual’s personality and life goals is paramount, but takes time.
While choosing a home is a very personal decision, rent.com.au asked leading property manager Suzanne Brown of RentWest Property Solutions to compile a list of must-checks to safeguard their decision:
“So often, the practical aspects of inspections are overlooked in the rush of an open house inspection,” said Suzanne.
“While people mostly know whether the look and feel of a house is right for them, being prepared and creating a checklist can save time and make for a better long-term outcome.”
Download, print and take this Property Inspection Checklist with you when visiting properties, to help you decide on the best property for you.
Make sure – from an insurance point of view – that there are deadlocks and window locks. In many cases, tenants move into a property and start to sort out their insurance, then find they can’t get any cover because there are no deadlocks on windows and doors. It’s a good idea to look for or ask about an alarm system.
Is there enough internal and external storage? Check robe space and linen storage. While it’s such a basic need, this is one area that you shouldn’t compromise on. It can be costly to buy your own storage, then there’s the hassle of selling it should you move into a new home with adequate storage.
Remember that you are likely to be taking the property ‘as viewed’. Don’t assume that the junk in the rear sheds will be cleaned out, the dusting sorted and the weeding and leaves taken care of for your arrival. Ask first.
HEATING AND COOLING
Is there air conditioning? This is something you might assume is standard, however that is not the case. Ensure you ask: Is there air conditioning? Is it hot and cold? And is it in working order? It’s also a good idea to remember to look in the bedrooms and upstairs areas for air conditioning.
Check the number of bedrooms and the size (measure up the room by stepping it out or take a tape measure). Mistakes can be made on info sheets and sometimes a room can be called a bedroom when it’s not really practical to be one, so double check.
Confirm the position of television antennas, Foxtel outlets, telephone outlets and power points. This may seem a little pedantic, but it’s these basic outlets and points that can cause unnecessary irritation.
KITCHEN AND LAUNDRY
Is there a fridge or space for one? If a fridge alcove is built in to cabinetry, measure it up to ensure it fits your fridge. Same goes for the laundry: check if there is a washing machine and dryer or if there is adequate space for yours.
Does your property have a roller door? If so, is it automatic or manual? This is actually a big issue. Ensure you ask the property manager to physically check how it operates, so there are no surprises when you move in.
LAWNS AND GARDENS
Walk outside and look at the maintenance that will be required. Ask the property manager whether the garden area is to be maintained by the tenant or whether there are any contributions or inclusions. Inclusion of lawn moving and gardening is generally specified in a listing, but it’s also wise to double check.
GAS vs ELECTRIC
This is a personal preference, but one that many people feel strongly about. So, if you are someone who loves to cook, ensure you check this one out.
RentWest Property Solutions specialises in property management and is based in Perth, Western Australia. Find out more about RentWest at www.rentwest.com.au, phone (08) 9314 9888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org