What Should You Look for When Renting a Property?
When searching for a rental property, it’s easy to focus on the location, such as which neighbourhood it’s in and which amenities are nearby, however there are many other things you should consider about the property itself before signing the lease. PRD Nationwide are Canberra’s real estate experts, specialising in residential properties for rent throughout Canberra and surrounds. Rental inspections allow only a limited time to look around a property, so we have come up with a few simple things to look for in a rental, before signing the contract.
Check the walls and floors for any existing damage or staining
Most rental properties will have had quite a few tenants leasing the home before you so it’s normal for the walls to have scuff marks or holes from the previous tenant’s pictures, floorboards may have a few scratches and carpets may have some minor stains. If you do notice any considerable damage such as large holes in the walls or noticeably damaged floors or tiles then you should ask whether this will be fixed prior to you moving in. If not, then ensure the damage is noted in the inspection report with photos attached to show that it is the result of the previous tenant and not your fault.
Check there are smoke detectors fitted and that they are in working order
In any home these days, you need to be confident that safety equipment such as smoke detectors are fitted in the correct locations and that they are working properly so that you can be alerted in the case of a fire. While there are regulations that landlords do need to adhere to regarding smoke detectors in rentals, you should make sure you can see them when inspecting the property and request that the landlord makes sure these devices are working before you move in.
Check for pests
When viewing potential Canberra properties for rent it’s easy be blinded by a nice modern kitchen and newly renovated bathroom, however it’s important to look below the surface and make sure that you’re vigilant in looking for indications of pests. While usually more common in older homes, even if an older property has had a recent renovation there still could be cockroaches, ants or mice around so look for any sign of these pests including bait and traps placed around the property.
Check the available storage
While most newer homes have sufficient storage built in, many older homes are severely lacking when it comes to wardrobes and linen cupboards. Storage units and freestanding wardrobes can be expensive to buy and may not be needed if you move again to another home that already has an abundance of storage options. While inspecting a potential new rental, look for places where you would store your bicycle, surf board, skis or book collection, and ask yourself if there is enough space for all your important possessions. It is also a good idea to check that there is enough pantry space, linen space and areas to store cleaning items such as brooms, mops and a vacuum cleaner.
Find out about heating and cooling
Canberra experiences the extremes of the Australian climate, from scorching summers to freezing winters so adequate heating and cooling is essential. Ask the agent what heating and cooling is available in the property and if it is ducted throughout the whole house or only in specific rooms. Also ask the agent to ensure that all systems are in good working order.
Check there’s enough space white goods
This is important if you already have a collection of appliances. Check that the fridge cavity is large enough to accommodate your fridge, and check the bench space in the kitchen is sufficient for any other appliances that you like to use on a regular basis. Check the laundry will fit your washing machine and dryer, as some new properties have European laundries which may have limited space and determine if you can have a top loader or a front loader.
Other things to consider
· Does the property have security doors, screens or shutters? These are a great safety measure that can reduce the cost of your insurance.
· Does the property come with car parking? Is there a lock-up garage or carport or will your car be exposed to the elements on a daily basis? Ensure you find out how many car spaces are available, especially if you have multiple cars. If it doesn’t, look at the local parking signage to work out whether you’d need a permit.
· Is there both gas and electricity available at the property? While gas or electric cooking is a personal preference it’s good to know what is available.
If you are in doubt about anything, be sure to ask the agent. Don’t make assumptions, ask as many questions as you need as this will help to ensure you find the right Canberra rental property for you.
If you are moving out of home, relocating to a new suburb or you’re just not quite ready to purchase a property yet, PRD nationwide has a huge portfolio of Canberra properties for rent to suit your needs and budget. Give our friendly team a call today on (07) 3229 3344 or send us an enquiry online.