select
|

What first-time tenants need to know

More young people are pouring into SA’s big towns and cities all the time in search of work, education and business opportunities, and the first housing option for most of them is rental accommodation.
 
However, says Gerhard Kotzé, MD of the RealNet estate agency group, many first-time renters, like students and other young people who have previously been living with their families, are not familiar with what is required to be able to rent, and may lose out on suitable accommodation as a result.
 
They need help to present themselves to landlords as well-prepared and “solid” tenants who are likely to be reliable when it comes to paying the rent and looking after the property, and RealNet has compiled the following guidelines as a start:
 
*Rent through an established and reputable agency. This is much safer and easier, especially for first-time tenants, than renting from a private landlord. When you search rental listings in the newspaper or on the internet, choose those that are being offered by well-known agencies. Or visit the offices of one or two agencies and ask them to suggest suitable properties. If you are a student, ask the student advisory office on your campus for a list of accredited agents and rental options. 
 
*Come prepared with your identification, proof of current residence (even if it is your family home where you were living before your move to the city), bank statements if you have them, driver’s licence, proof of employment or of registration at your educational institution. If you are a student, you should also bring official notification of any student loans, bursaries or rental assistance you will be receiving from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).    
 
*Be prepared for the agency to ask to check your credit history. Even if you don’t have a bank account yet and have never applied for any credit, they need to officially make sure that you have no outstanding judgments, have not been blacklisted, do not have a history of defaulting on the rent somewhere else and do not have a criminal record. However, they are only allowed to do this with your permission.
 
*Be prepared to pay a security deposit of at least one month’s rent. You may also be asked to pay a deposit for municipal services like water and electricity. But remember, reputable rental management companies will never ask you for a deposit before you have seen the property and agreed to rent it. You should be very wary of people who put pressure on you to pay money to “book” the property so that it will not be let to someone else, as they are most likely fraudsters.
 
“Do not expect to be able to move in before you have completed the application process, signed a proper lease agreement and paid your deposit. This can take a few days so make sure you have somewhere to stay until you have sorted out all the paperwork. 
 
*Once you have found a place you like and can afford, make sure you sign a written lease. This is important to protect your rights as well as those of the property owner. The lease should state the term of your rental agreement, how the property can be used, how many people can stay there, who is responsible for the condition of the property when you move in and when you leave, the monthly rental amount, the deposit due, the rules and regulations of the building or complex, and any other factors that will affect your stay.
 
*Make sure you read and understand the whole lease before you sign it. Pay particular attention to how long you are agreeing to rent, the total monthly rent to pay, any other costs, where you must pay rent, when the rent is due and what can happen if you do not pay on time. It is also very important that the lease states what the agent or landlord will do with your deposit, and what you must do to be fully refunded this deposit at the end of the lease.
 
*And finally, you should make sure that the lease explains what your contract rights are with regards to the Consumer Protection Act, how much advance notice you need to give if you decide to end the agreement, and where to contact your nearest Rental Tribunal if you ever end up in a serious dispute with your landlord.


  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
  
2000
Characters remaining


    Latest Property News
    • 23 Feb 2018
      RE/MAX Property Associates’ Table View Office, which services property buyers and sellers along the Table Bay coastline and surrounds, has recently sold a home in Woodbridge Island for R11 million – the highest price paid for any home in the sought-after security complex.
    • 23 Feb 2018
      Choosing to invest in an overseas property can be daunting. But as more and more investors recognise the value of a diversified portfolio that includes property outside of their own country of residence, international property investment is growing in popularity.
    • 23 Feb 2018
      The positive change in South Africa’s political landscape is paving the way for an upswing in the local property market.
    • 22 Feb 2018
      An excellent credit score is one of the most priceless assets a potential home buyer can have. This tool has the power to secure favorable mortgage and refinancing rate, influencing everything from the size of the loan repayment to the interest rate on the home loan.
    • 22 Feb 2018
      What do you do if you love your home’s location and the area, but the home no longer fits your growing family’s needs? Do you stay and renovate your existing home or find a home that meets your developing criteria?
    • 22 Feb 2018
      While every owner wants to sell their property at the best possible price, overpricing a home can be the kiss of death for a sale.
    • 21 Feb 2018
      Given the hand they were dealt, government has performed a delicate balancing act which it is hoped will serve to reignite confidence in investment in South Africa, regain our global credibility and satisfy the credit ratings agencies, says Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group.
    • 21 Feb 2018
      The real estate mantra, ‘location, location, location’ remains a strong market influence regardless of the prevailing economy, with suburbs like Rondebosch enjoying the buffering benefit of being ideally situated.
        
    X
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Name  
    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    select
    X
    Share this Page

       
    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    About
    Connect with us
    FEEDBACK