5 Factors When Renting Property
Deciding on which home or unit to rent can be a challenging process - although once a sound decision is made, it is well worth the effort as well as the investment in time and money.
At Chas Everitt Property Rentals (CEPR) we delight in aiding South Africans from across the length and breadth of our beautiful country to find their perfect place to rent. This piece has been prepared especially for prospective tenants and offers great insight into the top five factors one should closely consider when renting in a particular area.
Speaking with CEO of CEPR, Greg Harris, revealed that one of the most common pitfalls in the rentals sector is an overemphasis on the cost factor. “As a tenant, it follows that most people will be seeking to rent the best possible home, at the most affordable price. Unfortunately, however, many tenants concentrate too much on the cost of renting a home and downplay or overlook other very pertinent aspects – such as security, location and a variety of important considerations. In such a scenario, it may seem like they are ‘saving’ when in actuality they are losing out on other vital elements like access to needed services, proximity to work and so on. Omitting these factors can actually cost more in the longer run, hence it is better to make a well-rounded judgement when renting a home”, said Greg.
Next we explore some of the above-mentioned considerations in greater detail, including the cost of renting:
As a single individual, you may want to live closer to employment opportunities. As a parent, you may want to move closer to good schooling options. Regardless of who you are or where you choose to live, however, the location is an important factor to consider. Barry Davies, Franchising Director of the Chas Everitt International Property Group also highlighted the importance of location.
“Sometimes a property that costs more to rent can end up saving you money in travel expenses, while other times the ‘affordable’ option can end up costing more. So don’t rush into decisions, but rather carefully consider how the location will affect your monthly costs, wellbeing and lifestyle”, advised Barry.
Security is another vital factor that must be taken into consideration. However, security is a subjective matter and you need to decide for yourself what is adequate for you. Of course, with lower security comes lower costs; on the other hand break-ins, robberies and other crimes can not only cost you much more money than expected, but also compromise your peace of mind and overall welfare. So don’t take security lightly and always give this factor the consideration it deserves when renting. Consider all of the problems that could occur with less-than-ideal security and then based on the vulnerabilities / security measures, make an informed decision.
“One of the greatest factors about moving into a new rental home is that you can enjoy the lifestyle that is offered there”, said Paula Harding, Client Service Manager of CEPR. The best part is that you can enjoy the sought-after and convenient lifestyle you’ve desired, without purchasing an apartment or home in the area – which is likely out of your budget, qualifying criteria or preference at the current time.
Julie Pillay, Manager of CEPR Long Term Letting Division in Umhlanga, KZN, added that ”This is also why rental opportunities are so popular in sought-after suburbs across the landscape of SA’s property market. For instance consider the many coastal jewels that dot the magnificent coasts of the country – from the Dolphin Coast on the east to the Garden Route along the west coast. Residents can enjoy the enviable and exciting coastal lifestyle that is so apparent there, while inland suburbs, residential estate homes and so forth also come with their own series of perks.”
Therefore, choose property located in an area that offers the lifestyle and convenience that complements you. This means living amidst like-minded families and individuals who are seeking the same quality of life, while also having access to all of the facilities and amenities of the area.
Once you have found the home, flat or townhouse and so on that offers the location, security and lifestyle you desire, the next step is to find out more about how the property is managed. If there is a supervisor, how often he or she checks on the conditions of the property and his or her availability for repairs or replacements, where applicable, is a crucial factor. A qualified real estate professional will be able to walk you through the process and ensure the associated lease terms are explained as well as compliant with the current laws.
If there is no supervisor and the property owner arranges repairs and replacements directly with external service providers, then their responsiveness to damages and repair needs must also be considered carefully. Basically living in a property that is badly managed can cause unnecessary stress, inconvenience and even health problems. So find out clearly from past tenants or the letting agent responsible about the management of the home or property, residential estate or secure complex - as well as how promptly and effectively previous matters were attended to.
When it comes to renting in a complex, body corporate rules differ from one to the next and it is best to work with an experienced letting agent. For example some complexes may not permit pets, visitors after certain hours and so forth. Furthermore, improvements and repairs on the common property depend on how healthy the body corporate financials are. Again a professional will be able to check the financials on your behalf, so you know what to expect.
Finally, the cost is an important factor that you should still consider. The reason it is last is that it needs to be evaluated according to the other four factors, as each factor will affect the ultimate cost – and as the adage goes, you generally get what you pay for. If a property offers excellent value in regards to all of the above factors, then you can expect the cost to be relatively high as well. This does not necessarily mean unaffordable – just comparatively higher than property alternatives that fall short in regards to the above criteria. It is a question of value versus ‘cheap’ and one can evaluate this by asking: For every rand spent on rental, what living advantages and savings do I gain?
Author: Barry Davies