Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Top 10 Tips for Happy Renting

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Top 10 Tips for Happy Renting

Article excerpt

RENTING a home can be a thankless task. Almost everyone ends up doing it at some point, yet when it comes to help and advice, tenants can often feel like a forgotten tribe.

Choose the right property and agent and renting can be a joy - the money might be paying someone else's mortgage but freedom and the ability to pass on responsibility for problems with the house can be liberating.

On the other hand, take the wrong route and a tenancy can be six months or longer of daily stress and pain. Or worse, a short-term lease that is pulled out from under you.

But there are ways to make sure your next letting experience is more hospitable than horrible. So here are some tips for anyone looking to rent a home:

1. Do your research

Spend time investigating the area. The advantage of renting is that you can move when your tenancy is up, but don't think too short term - make sure this is the area you want to live in. If you have children, make sure you look into the local schools. The best way to get a feel for an area is to have a wander around on foot and even talk to neighbours.

You can search for properties in the area and localised information.

2. Use the whole rental market

Do everything you can to broaden your search. It is the case that large firms can have a wide range of property but check out property management agencies, private landlords and newspaper and online avenues. This will not only open up the search but will also allow you to gauge what the going rate is.

3. Take your time viewing properties

If you find somewhere you like, don't just give it a 10 minute once over. Check everything carefully. Does it have air-conditioning or ceiling fans? What condition is the bathroom in? Are the windows and security screens in good condition? These can all be forgotten in the heat of the moment. Make a checklist.

Read This is Money's guide to choosing a home for tips.

4. Ask the agents about their fees

Before you make an offer, quiz the agent about additional fees. …

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