3 TIPS TO GET AHEAD OF THE RENTAL HOUSE HUNTING GAME
It’s easy to feel deflated when searching for a rental, particularly in places like Auckland, is more akin to trying to get your hands on the latest smartphone release than finding a home. Queues out the door at viewings, and misleading Trade Me photos, are a familiar experience for Kiwi renters. But don’t despair, with our three easy tips to get ahead of the house hunting game, you’ll be ready to score your dream rental the next time it comes along.
1. BE QUICK, BE READY
It’s true what they say; in many cases the early bird really does get the worm. Many landlords and property managers are looking to fill their properties as soon as possible, so if you’re a suitable applicant with positive references, it’s often a case of first-come, first-served. In a competitive rental market, preparation can make all the difference. Have your application at least partially pre-filled before you attend a viewing and be ready to finish it off and apply the moment you leave the viewing. Applications are often long winded and fiddly, so by doing this you significantly increase your chances of being the first applicant with their foot in the door.
2. FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT
This really should go without saying, but making a good impression is important. Whether it’s the landlord, property manager, or existing tenants, you’ll want to put your best foot forward and try and engage whoever you are dealing with as early as you can.
If the property listing includes a contact phone number, give the individual a call to discuss the house and any questions you may have – this won’t work for every property, but for many it’ll give you an opportunity to set yourself apart . If you succeed at building a good relationship with a landlord or property manager, they may even suggest alternative listings, should you miss out. Good references are often critical to a landlord’s decision, so it’s important that you make sure you provide the contact details of a reliable referee. If possible, try to include the testimonial of workplace management or community figures, rather than close friends and family who may be seen as biased.
3. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
With all the moving parts involved with hunting for and moving into a home, it's sometimes all too easy to feel like you're shouldering all the burden and responsibility. It can be a lot of pressure, but luckily not everything falls on you!
Renting is a two-way street, and whilst as a tenant you'll have certain responsibilities, your landlord is also obligated to make sure your new home is safe, private and healthy. Your rights are important, and familiarising yourself with them is highly recommended. Make sure to brush up on your rights as a tenant and your landlord's responsibilities by going over the Residential Tenancies Act 1986, or by reading other government-based websites, such as the official Tenancy Services site. Also remember, there are a lot of new laws around healthy homes that have recently come into play. Check out the new Healthy Homes Standards to make sure that your landlord or property manager are meeting their obligations!
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The information provided in this article is of a general nature and not intended to be a substitute for personalised, professional advice. Mercury recommends that you always seek appropriate advice from a qualified professional to suit your individual circumstances. Links to external, non-Mercury websites are provided as a reference only, and do not imply a partnership or endorsement of their content.