In our blog of 2 February we focused on building the foundation (pun intended) of searching for a good home to rent. This week we have come up with some tips on what to look for to get the best out of your rental home.

  1. Check for any signs of infestation – If you see any signs of cockroaches, ants or worse… stay away! Alternatively, ensure the landlord/owner gets a reputable and non-toxic pest control company that guarantees their work for at least six months before you move in.
  2. Noise – Visit the home during busy morning and afternoon hours to ensure it is not too noisy. If it’s a double storey home, look from the balcony to ensure that there is not a school or a night club in the vicinity.
  3. Look out for signs of damp and mould – These issues are extremely hard to fix and may cause you months of dust and frustration and even cause allergies and asthma in the family. Damp problems should be viewed as a deal breaker due to the stress, discomfort and cost implications it causes.
  4. Annual maintenance usually falls within the tenant’s responsibilities and can be costly. Try to negotiate for the landlord to maintain the property. Things like wooden windows and frames should also be freshly treated at the start of the lease.
  5. Security is key – Look at the area, proximity to open land, alarm system and recent security incidents and statistics for the area.
  6. Electricity costs – Under-floor heating throughout the home may seem like a great idea, but keep in mind that the electricity costs of running it during the winter months will easily escalate your electricity bill to R15 000 – R20 000 per month or more for larger homes. For the winter months, rather look for a centrally located fire place, or air conditioners that can heat the space and good window insulation throughout the home.
  7. Choose the right flooring – Tile or natural stone floors make the home cooler in summer, but quite cold in winter. Carpets are no longer trendy as they gather dust and stain easily, but are nice and warm in winter. Hard wood and laminated floors are very popular, but need to be treated with extra care. It is often possible to negotiate to replace carpets with other flooring, depending on the length of the lease.
  8. The view – In South Africa, the homes should be North-facing to get the best sunlight in summer and winter months. If you are in the Cape and the home has beautiful ocean views, ensure the outdoor areas are well sheltered from the wind that can get very unpleasant.
  9. Look out for hidden costs – Ensure the property rates and taxes and home owner’s levy are all paid by the landlord and that these conditions are put into the lease agreement.
  10. Pets – If you have pets or plan to have pets, check that there are no Body Corporate rules that prohibit pets or special rules regarding the size and number of pets. Also ensure that the landlord agrees with keeping pets and include this in the lease.

We hope these tips help you to find a great rental house and that you will find a place you can call home.

Expats On The Globe has years of experience in relocation and home finding services. Our dedicated relocation consultants do not rest until the best property for our clients is found and negotiate the most favourable lease terms and conditions. We also specialise in tenancy management services, ensuring that the property is well looked after for the duration of the lease.

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