South Africa’s property market is a healthy combination of different contributors, consisting of landlords, tenants as well as service providers. For those who are still under the rental category, the hunt for accommodation can be a strenuous and time-consuming process, especially if you are very particular. While the cost factor is often on top of the key considerations list, there are other things worth considering before you put your signature on the dotted line.
Here are the key things you need to consider before renting a property:
When it comes to finding accommodation, location is of utmost importance. Try as much as possible to avoid far flung places with no access to social amenities. A good place of residence must allow you to do your grocery shopping with ease and also access other social facilities like play parks for children, schools if you have school going children, etc.
The monthly rental amount is obviously the first thing to consider in this regard. But you need to be cautious and mindful of costs which you may be liable for such as water and electricity bills and municipal rates and taxes. You need to carefully check and verify with the prospective landlord all the relevant cost implications.
Access to reliable public transport system must not be overlooked. Your mobility may currently depend on a personal vehicle but in case of eventualities of life, you may need to get on a bus or public train to reach different parts of town. Even your visitors will greatly benefit from a reliable public transport system nearby.
History of the property
You need to find ways and means of checking the history of the property. How many tenants have occupied that property in the last five years? What made them leave? The rate of occupancy will give you a good idea. Frequent exits may be a sign of bad experiences to come.
South Africa has a high crime rate but some areas are relatively safer than others. You therefore need to check the crime rate of the area to know how secure you will be. You also need to check if the area has security patrols and any other security measures in place.
Condition of the property
The condition and size of the property are key factors you shouldn’t overlook. Check if the walls are well painted and intact, if the windows and doors are working okay, if the bathroom and kitchen taps are functional, if the floor needs any attention, etc. Closely tied to the condition of the property is the size. You need a property which can sufficiently accommodate your furniture and belongings.
The environment in and around the property will go a long way when it comes to staying healthy. Check around for any signs of insects and rodents. You can also ask when the property was last fumigated.
Read the lease agreement
Lastly and most importantly, carefully read the lease and look out for any hidden clauses. These clauses could be in areas of maintenance responsibility, lease cancellation and payment conditions and flexibility.
The guidelines provided above will assist you in finding the right rental.