As May is the month for celebrating mothers and motherhood around the world, I was reminded that the best advice in your life usually comes from your mom. She’s been there, she knows better, and she always has your best interest at heart – it’s why she’s the greatest. And something we could all use some advice on is renting your first home.
If you are looking for your first home to rent, keep these words of wisdom in mind…
Know Your Housemate Inside and Out
It’s a good idea to save on rent by sharing with another housemate, however listen to mom when she says you must know the person from the inside out! Rent can take a large chunk of your disposable income especially if you want to love in the area were you work and play and have a decent looking property to call home. The solution to affordability is quite often sharing, however beware, because whatever your housemate does will impact you too, be it positive or negative.
Signing a tenancy contract means you all housemates who sign the lease are jointly and severally responsible both for payment of rent, caring for the property and in general, fulfilling the terms on the contract. What this means is that housemates can’t blame the other person for not paying their rent or rectifying damage. If rent is not paid regardless of whose portion is outstanding everyone is responsible to pay. If damage is sustained at the property it doesn’t matter who did it, all are responsible to repair or in some instances replace the damaged item.
Rent sharing is a good idea to get started but listen to mom, and truly know and trust the person or persons you will be sharing with. Their living habits will impact your tenant history be it positive or negative.
Don’t Forget to Budget!
Many first time renters make the mistake of not allowing for general living expenses and as a result fall further and further behind in their rent as each month passes and more and more stressed. Moms are always practical and are known for giving the best advice to their kids, after all moms know their kids better than anyone else does (even though most kids would not like to admit that!!).
Moms know their kids spending or saving habits, their fun and social requirements and general living habits, such as leaving lights on and water running, which if course all cost money. So when mom sits down with their kid who is looking for their first rental home, moms advice will be almost always 100% spot on when they help their son or daughter to know what budget rent they should be aiming for.
Check Out the Location
As they say in real estate, location, location, location. This is as true for renters as it is for buyers. Moms will always be concerned for the safety and welfare of their children. That’s a mom’s job and they love it! Lots of first time renters fail to take into consideration the location of the home they are about to rent, only looking at the inside and not what’s going on outside. Mom’s will encourage their kids to drive around at night and see what happens when day turns to dusk and dusk turns to night. The place can take on a whole new life form. Sometimes good and sometimes not so good!
There is also noise pollution that impacts the enjoyment of a property. Being close a tram or train line or an intersection where cars are braking and revving through gears. Being close to shops is great but also comes with a downside on occasion. Moms have psychic power when it comes to their kids and will know in advance of their kid will feel happy and settled in the location of the rental they are considering.
Only Rent through a Licensed Agent
It’s a whole new world of opportunities for scammers and smart moms always tell their kids to only rent through a licensed property management company. Scammers have been known to rent properties they don’t even own, have the tenants sign a ‘legal’ tenancy contract and pay their money. All seems perfect with no hint of anything being underhanded until the day of move in arrives and suddenly the person they rented the property from has seemingly vanished off the face of the earth. Listen to mom, this is one of the best words of advice she will give on renting.
Record Existing Damage and State of Clean
When you take responsibility for a property at handover you take responsibility for the state of care and repair of that property. Moms know their kids are smart and also trusting but when it comes to renting little things can cost a lot of money and moms know this. Not to mention the stress it causes on their children when their children and blamed and held accountable for cleaning and repairs they did not cause.
When the agent provides a move in report check it thoroughly room by room and feature by feature noting any discrepancies in cleanliness and repair. Sign it and return the copy to the agent. Mom’s advice is great when tell their kids to make sure they keep the original marked up copy, protecting their pockets and reputation.