Have you finally decided the take the leap and move out of the family home and start renting? Whether you are renting on your own or you are sharing with a friend/partner, moving out for the first time can be super exciting and fun, however, it can also be overwhelming.
Here are a few things you should know as a first-time renter to ensure you are prepared and are making the best decisions possible.
FINDING A RENTAL
When looking for a place to rent, it’s a good idea to sit down and make a “must-have” list so you can make sure you find the right place.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Location: is it close to work, amenities, is it on a busy road? etc.
- The number of bedrooms, bathrooms, car spaces, etc.
- Do you have a pet? is it pet friendly?
Once you have decided what you are looking for, it will then be easier to sift out the properties that don’t suit your needs.
If you are a first-time renter, you should have your application ready to go, so that you can submit an application as soon as you find the right house. More often than not the difference between securing a rental and missing out comes down to timing the submission of your application.
It’s good practice to have spare digital and physical copies of all the documents you need to include in an application, including identification, phone bills, and payslips. These prove who you are, show that you have a stable income, and help to show that you’re capable of looking after a rental property.
As a first-time renter, your references are also extremely important. You should line them up well before any inspections, and let them know that a property manager or landlord may call once you’ve lodged an application.
Try to choose referees who are credible and relevant like a boss or colleague.
LOCK IT IN
Once you have been accepted there are a few things that you have to do before you definitely lock in the property.
Firstly you will need to sign a contract known as a residential tenancy agreement. This may feel daunting for first-time renters, but you must have a legal contract between you, the tenant, and your landlord. This agreement will outline:
- the amount of rent and how it is to be paid
- the length and type of tenancy
- the amount of bond required
- details on what will happen if you break the lease or ask to leave before the agreement expires
- special terms related to pets and cleaning requirements
So make sure you have a good read of it and understand what is expected of you as a tenant under that agency.
When signing the contract, you will be asked for a bond, which is a deposit that serves as security for the landlord or owner, in case you don’t meet the terms of your lease. These funds will be requested alongside 2 weeks rent to secure the property. So include this in your moving out budget!
THE EXTRAS – UTILITIES, ETC
After securing and locking in the rental you will need to ensure you have all your utilities connected. Contact your property manager about what utilities are included, if they have recommended suppliers, or if they can refer you to a third-party connection service.
Prior to your move-in, ensure you have called the suppliers and that the electricity and water will be connected before you get there. Nothing worse than moving all your belongings in just to realise you have no hot water or electricity on your first night.
Another thing to remember is to ensure you have your mail forwarded to your new address and that you have changed your address on all your major accounts – bank accounts, electoral roll, license.
Do you have a steady cash flow, and is that enough to pay weekly/fortnightly rent, utilities, food, and transport? Will you have enough money to buy essentials once you’ve moved in?
Before you move out draw up a budget and include all the expenses you will have once you move out. Can you afford to move out of home? Will you have to make some small sacrifices to ensure you can pay your rent week after week?
You don’t want to be falling behind on your rent and having it affect your rental history, making it harder to secure a property in the future.
So if you are thinking of biting the bullet and moving out in 2021, we hope these tips will point you in the right direction. Good luck with your move!!