How to find the rented home of your dreams?

How to find the rented home of your dreams?

Many of us who live in rented homes have burnt our fingers many times in the process of finding a suitable place. Sometimes, it becomes too late to withdraw and many hard compromises have to be made. In this context, it is better to do your research thoroughly before finalising on a house.

So, here are some factors that you need to keep in mind before looking for a rented space for you and your family:

• Space & costs first: Top on the priority list would be your space requirement and how much you can shell out every month towards rent. While relatively easy to decide on, this can still be a dicey issue. Often, a person looking for a modest apartment for a couple gets carried away by a lavish setting that comes at a relatively affordable rent.

It is good to bear in mind that huge spaces can be tough to maintain and will eventually wear a rundown look. Unless you are the entertaining kind with guests dropping in for short and long hauls, a three- or four-bedroom apartment or house would be a waste.

Similarly settling for a small space for a large, extended family may not be a wise decision, even if rent is the issue. With teenage children and elders in the house, a small space could end up sparking many unwanted tensions. If the rent seems prohibitive, the better option is to look for another location. Perhaps not so close to the centre of the city, but with all amenities and an affordable rent.

• Connectivity matters: Today, most suburban centres have their infrastructure in place, boasting of malls, hospitals and schools located within walking distance. Connectivity is also making the last mile leap with metro and other transport in place.

However, it would be wise to look at the distances to be covered daily before settling on a low-rent option at a faraway place.

• Ventilation issues: Ventilation, especially cross-ventilation that allows passage for the wind through the house is a factor neglected in many houses and apartments. This is especially so as we brace for hotter summers in coming years.

• Looking at the medium: While on the subject of money, deposits and brokerages have also to be considered. These amounts also vary from city to city. Before settling in on anyone, do your research and check out other options. Of course, if you go through property management firms, the brokerage can be done away with.

• Maintenance factors: In most apartment complexes, a maintenance amount is collected. Ascertain the services included. Some essential requirements are a power backup, lifts, adequate water supply, security, parking space, recreational facilities, access to common spaces, waste disposal, etc.

Again, some places have a rather large fee compared to others. Check out a few before finalising.

• Some space for your vehicles: Watch out for parking space when looking at individual houses. Keeping your vehicles out on the streets is not only an open invitation to car thieves but also asking for dents and scratches from passing vehicles and miscreants.

• For your furry friends: Often, we tend to forget to ask about pets. A new trend that is seen among many complexes today is to dissuade and even not allow pets at home. In some cases, the pets had to be forsaken as the tenant had done extensive rounds and finalised on a house and couldn’t be bothered to look again.

• Neighbours in question: In an apartment setting or individual houses, neighbours can make or mar your day. While this may seem to be way down on the priority list, it plays an important role. This is so if you happen to be the loud, merry-making kind and the couple next door value their quiet and peace, or vice versa.

• Essential services: Make sure to check on water and power supply services. Would the maintenance money cover these bills or do they come separately?

• Furnished units: As more people begin to opt for furnished houses, with advanced interior lighting and smart appliances, it is advisable to check the appliances and furnishings to ensure they are in good condition. Enquire on repairs undertaken and who pays for the same. Also, check on the clauses covering faulty or damaged pieces when you relinquish the place. In some places, landlords even deduct money from the deposit for nails bored into the walls.

In opting for furnished houses, one has the option these days to rely on property management companies. These companies manage the entire show for house owners from maintenance to renting them out. All you as a tenant need to communicate would be your choices, in terms of location, space and rent, and the rest is taken care of. It could save you a lot of running around.

• Read between the lines: Finally, make sure to read the rental agreement and understand your responsibilities as also those of the landlord.

So, the next time you are on the lookout for the perfect rented space for you and your family, keep these pointers in mind

 (The author is CEO, Rentprop4u)

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