What You Should Know Before You Rent a Property

LJH What you should know before you rent a property Blog

Renting a property can be an exciting time. This is going to be your home, a place where you will grow and where you will spend a lot of your time. Before you sign that contract, it's important to be informed and prepared for that commitment.

To help you settle into your next rental property, here are some tips for what you should know before renting a property:

Understand your rights and responsibilities

As a tenant, you have certain rights and responsibilities outlined in the Residential Tenancies Act 1986. This includes the right to quiet enjoyment of the property, the right to reasonable notice before the landlord enters the property, and the right to have repairs and maintenance done in a timely manner.

You also have certain responsibilities, such as paying rent on time, keeping the property clean and tidy, and not causing damage to the property.

It's important to understand your rights and responsibilities before signing a lease, as this will help you avoid any disputes with your landlord or property manager down the track. If you're unsure about anything, you can contact the Tenancy Services or Citizens Advice Bureau for advice.

Do your research

Before renting a property, it's important to do your research on the area and the property itself. This will help you make an informed decision about whether the property is right for you.

You should check out the area to make sure you feel safe, find out about the quality of the schools, and the proximity to public transport and other amenities. You can also use online tools like Google Maps to get a better understanding of the area.

When inspecting the property, look for any signs of damage or wear and tear. Check that all the appliances are in working order, and make sure there are no leaks or dampness. You should also check that the property meets your needs in terms of size and layout.

Read the tenancy agreement carefully

The tenancy agreement is a legal contract between you and the landlord, so it's important to read it carefully before signing it. Make sure you understand all the terms and conditions, including the rent amount, the length of the tenancy, and any other requirements.

You should also check for any special conditions that may be included in the lease, such as restrictions on pets or smoking and vaping. If there's anything you're unsure about, ask the landlord or property manager for clarification.

Know the costs involved

Before renting a property, it's important to understand all the costs involved. This includes the rent amount, the bond (which will be no more than four weeks' rent), and any other fees or charges.

You should also ask about the costs of utilities, such as electricity, gas, and water. Some landlords may include these costs in the rent, while others may require you to pay them separately.

It's important to budget for these costs so that you can manage your finances effectively. You should also make sure you have enough money saved to cover unexpected expenses, such as repairs or maintenance.

Get everything in writing

To avoid any misunderstandings or disputes, it's important to get everything in writing. This includes any agreements you make with the landlord or property manager.

For example, if the landlord promises to fix a leaky tap, make sure you get this in writing so that you have evidence if they don't follow through. You should also get any changes to the tenancy agreement in writing, such as an extension to the tenancy term.

Insure your belongings

While the landlord's insurance will cover damage to the property, it will not cover your personal property. This means that if your belongings are stolen or damaged in a fire, you will not be covered.

To protect your personal property, it's a good idea to take out contents insurance. This will cover your belongings against loss or damage, and can give you peace of mind knowing that you're protected.

There are many insurance companies that offer contents insurance for renters, so it's worth shopping around to find the best deal.

Know how to end the tenancy

At some point, you may need to end the tenancy and move out of the property. It's important to understand how to do this properly to avoid any issues with the landlord.

The tenancy agreement should specify how much notice you need to give before ending the tenancy. This is usually four weeks, but it can vary depending on whether you have a fix-term or periodic tenancy.

You should also make sure that the property is left in the same condition as when you moved in. This means cleaning the property thoroughly and repairing any damage that you may have caused.

Once you've moved out, the landlord will conduct a final inspection to check the condition of the property. If everything is in order, they will return your bond to you.

Renting a property is a great option for many people, it’s a way to live where you want and enjoy all the local amenities. But it's important to understand your rights and responsibilities before signing a tenancy agreement. By doing your research, reading the agreement carefully, and getting everything in writing. This will allow you to avoid any issues and enjoy your rental property with peace of mind.

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