Finding an apartment to rent can be an exciting and promising time for any tenant, whether you are new to the rental game or an experienced player.
But jumping head first into a lease without first carrying out an in-depth walkthrough could leave you with a fair amount of unnecessary stress to deal with.
It is important for you to view the space before making the decision to accept the lease agreement. Most important, when viewing you need to make sure that things are in check or up to standard before making a hasty decision.
Make sure you can afford it
One of the most important factors to consider before making the decision to move into an apartment is that you need make sure that your finances are in order. Make a budget and stick to it. You might not get the place of your dreams, but this will certainly prevent you and your landlord from getting into arguments every month.
Go over exactly what utilities are covered
Make sure that you understand which utilities are covered under your rent agreement. These could include water, electricity, internet etc. Whether the utilities are included or not could be a defining factor when choosing an apartment, so make sure you know what you are letting yourself in for.
If you would like to use public transport, then you should consider your commuting distance. You might have the choice of finding something cheap but far from many important amenities, or something close to everything but expensive. You choose!
Check for available parking
If you happen to own a car, making sure that there is available parking should be on your checklist. Commonly, in some neighbourhoods and big cities, street parking can be scarce and unsafe for you and your vehicle. So, it would be wise to ask whether the apartment comes with allocated parking and whether additional costs will have to be paid.
Make sure the appliances work
Although furnished apartments are quite scarce in South Africa, it is worthwhile checking that all supplied appliances are in good working order. Check that the stove plates and/or gas hobs work, and that the oven heats up and is free of grease or cooking build-up. Also, be sure to check that the fridge is cold, if one is provided.
Does your furniture fit?
Tenants often make the mistake of signing a lease before checking if their furniture will fit in the space come moving day. Avoid this by measuring all your big items like beds or couches before going for the viewing. This way you will have an idea of whether your things will fit inside or not.
Are the pests under control?
Cleanliness is one of the important factors to consider before signing a lease. Yes, this might be a little gross, but it would be wise to check around for insect or rodent droppings. It may be a bit unsettling, but it is necessary. This way you can let the landlord know in advance, so that he/she can get the place fumigated as soon as possible.
Try to meet your potential neighbours
Sometimes your experience at a place could be determined by the people you are surrounded by, so it would be wise to try to meet your potential neighbours. We are sure you would not want to be surprised on your first night that your neighbours love loud music or that they are night vacuumers.
While these are just a few factors to consider when flat-hunting, there are many others – like security, cracks in the walls and more.
Considering these factors when viewing potential apartments can help you find the right apartment and ensure that you are not caught off guard later. Once the lease is signed, you are in it for the long haul so make sure that the apartment you choose does not have any major issues that could lead to renter’s regret.
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