How to find your perfect rental property:
- Decide on what you ideally want, what is negotiable and what you will not accept.
- Do some quick online research of rental values in your area to determine how much you will need to pay to get what you’re after.
- Take a photocopy of a map and draw a boundary around the area that you are willing to move into.
- Doing these steps saves you time that could be wasted looking at properties that are not suitable.
Smart and very smart renters should look for:
A Good location
- Properties that are within walking distance of shops and decent public transport services (especially a train service).
- Properties that are within walking or riding distance to work.
- A place that is off a main road that has no obvious signs of a noisy neighbourhood if you are sensitive to noise.
Decent natural heating and cooling
- North or at least east or west facing properties in Australia, especially if you plan to produce your own produce, solar hot water and solar power.
- Properties that are not heavily shaded by buildings or trees unless you live in a warm climate.
- A well-sealed property in a colder climate (Southern Australia) to avoid draughts. During an inspection, have a good look around doors, windows and be on the lookout for permanent ventilation holes (often found in toilets and bathrooms and should be avoided).
- Natural ventilation and shade in warmer climates (Northern Australia).
- Exterior blinds in any climate though these are rare on modern homes.
- Good thick curtains in a colder climate if you can find them.
A good size
- An indoor size of roughly 60 square metres for two people and up to 100 square metres for a family. This means less cleaning and an affordable way to live close to amenities.
- At least 10 square metres of outdoor space that gets 4 hours of sun a day if you want to grow your own herbs, greens, some high value vegetables and have room for composting.
Other things to look for
- A minimum lease length of 12 months as moving is time consuming and costs money.
- A split system air conditioner/heater, especially for very smart renters unless the house will remain between 15 to 30 degrees during the day.
- All electric appliances, while not essential, will make disconnecting the gas easier for very smart renters.
- Properties without unnecessary appliances like dishwashers. Avoid paying for things you don’t need or use.
- Space for bike storage if you own and use a bike.
Read more: The perfect rental article