It’s no secret that renters are finding home viewings extremely difficult in their quest to find their perfect, long-term home. With a lot of pressure on vacancy rates (and property managers), it’s likely you will have 30 minutes (or sometimes less) to look through a property with 25 people or more. In fact, there are even reports of up to 40 people going through the one home viewing.
rent.com.au surveyed renters earlier in the year (Renters Unite and Have Your Say, June 14–17) and discovered renters were finding it increasingly difficult to check the suitability of a home in the short timeframe. They found that they were expected to check the suitability of a house within as little as 10 minutes before committing to a lease aggreement. When you consider that more and more people are renting as a lifestyle choice and wanting their rental house to be a home for a long period of time, you can understand that this scenario is a little unsettling.
While choosing a home is a very personal decision and based on many different things, rent.com.au asked leading property manager Suzanne Brown of RentWest to compile a list of must-checks to safeguard your decision. While you know the look and feel of a house that’s right for you, these questions will ensure those practical aspects that sometimes get overlooked in the rush of an open house.
Download, print and take this Property Inspection Checklist with you when visiting properties to halep you check off features and compare properties, to help you decide on the best property for you.
Make sure from insurance point of view that there are deadlocks and window locks. In many cases, tenants move into a property and start to sort their insurance, then find they can’t get any cover because there are no deadlocks on windows and doors. Also look for or ask about an alarm system.
Is there enough internal and external storage? Also check robe space and linen storage. While such a basic need, this is one area that you can’t compromise on. It can be costly when you need to buy in your own storage, then there’s the hassle of selling it should you move into a new home with adequate storage.
Remember that you are likely to be taking the property ‘as viewed’. Don’t assume that the junk in the rear sheds will be cleaned out, the dusting sorted and the weeding and leaves taken care of for your arrival. Ask.
Is there airconditioning? This is something we can often assume is standard, however that is not the case. Ensure you ask: is there airconditioning? Is it hot and cold? And is it in working order? It’s also a good idea to remember to look in the bedrooms and upstairs areas for airconditioning.
Also check the number of bedrooms and the size (measure up the room by stepping it out or take a tape measure). Mistakes can be made on info sheets and sometimes a room can be called a bedroom when it’s not really practical to be one, so double check.
Double check the position of television antennas, foxtel outlets, telephone outlets and powerpoints. This may seem a little pedantic, but it’s these basic outlets and points that can cause unnecessary irritation.
Is there a fridge or space for one? If a fridge alcove is built in to cabinetry, measure it up to ensure it fits your fridge. Same goes for the laundry: check if there is a washing machine and drier or if there is adequate space for yours.
Is it automatic or manual? This is actually a big issue. Ensure you ask the property manager to physically check how it operates, so there are no surprises when you move in.
Walk outside and look at the maintenance that will be required. Ask whether it is to be maintained by the tenant or whether there are any contributions or inclusions. Lawnmoving and gardening is usually specified in an advertisement, but it’s also wise to double check.
This is a personal preference, but one that many people feel strongly about. So, if you are someone who loves to cook, ensure you check this one out.