There are many first-time renters out there, and it’s not as easy as it looks to rent a house. There are always things that we tend to ignore/take for granted or plain don’t know about when we’re renting our first home.
Here are the top mistakes to avoid when you’re looking to rent your first home.
1- Talking to the neighbours or current tenants
If you’re going to see the house the landlord normally accompanies you for the visit, they show you around the house/society and try to impress you with what you will be getting in the new house. They try to show you the best version of what the house has to offer, the reality is that there are always catches. The best way to find out what the catches are, is to talk to the neighbours or current/previous tenants. This might not be possible on the first visit, which is why it’s better to go back again on your own and talk to these key people.
2- Asking brokers for help
For first time renters, getting a broker to step in and assist with getting a house, rental agreement and negotiating on their behalf seems like a good idea. The thought behind this is that brokers have done this 100’s of time and hence will do their best for you. This is not always the case, brokerage they get ranges from 15 days to 2 months of rent that you’re paying. This means that they tend to look for houses that are more expensive so that they can make a decent cut from it. You’re likely to go over your budget and spend extra on brokerage. Instead, you can try sites like NoBroker that will offer you the same services at a fraction of the cost. The home you find will be better matched to your requirements and will come without any hidden agendas.
3- Enticing amenities
Now, most posh building societies come loaded with amenities like tennis courts, swimming pools, saunas, basketball courts etc. these are great added benefits to any home. The question is, as first-time renters, how often will you use them, would you ever use them? If you’re at work, you’ll probably be too exhausted at the end of the day and week to make use of it, so why pay extra for it? It’s better to look for a home with fewer frills as the rent would be more affordable, don’t fall for amenities that you would never make use of.
4- Recording and reporting damage
At times new renters are so eager and excited to move into their new home that damages, stains and broken items in the home are overlooked. You might be keen to move in ASAP and start living, but beware as these small damages will cost you later. If you don’t report these damages before you move in, with proof, you will be blamed for it when you move out. All owners have a clause in the Rental Agreement that state something like- tenants will bare expenses for damages caused during their stay. This means you could end up paying to fix damages that you didn’t create and lose money from your deposit.
5- Reading the Rental Agreement
Much like you tend to skip reading the ‘Terms of Service’ on most websites, products etc, you might be tempted to skip reading the Rental Agreement and sign it in a hurry. This is a big NO. The Rental Agreement will contain all the important Do’s and Don’ts of your tenancy and will include things like rental increments, extra charges (parking etc.) pet policy, guest policy and so on. To avoid getting taken for a ride or facing the wrath of your landlord, it’s best to go through the Rental Agreement yourself and with a fine-toothed comb.
If you follow these basic pointers, your first time renting will be a pleasant experience. The more you rent, the better you’ll get at spotting trouble and avoiding it as well. If you need help with finding your first home to rent, remember the experts at NoBroker are here to assist. Happy Renting!