People rent for many reasons with some of the most common being that they are unable to afford to purchase, are only going to be in the area short term or want to check out the location as a renter before committing to buying a property.

Renting is also agreat option for those in the midst of relocation or for anyone selling their house. By renting you have a place to live immediately your house is sold and can take the time to look round for other suitable properties without the pressure of needing a roof over your head.

There is also a growing group of individuals who want freedom and do not wished to be tied down to the responsibility of home ownership and the associated expenses that go with it.

Real Estate Search

Good real estate agents can make find a rental property easier. Give the agent a clear briefing on your expectations and requirements including essential items such as budget, pets, duration and what your minimum size requirements are.

An experience and skilled real estate agent will have their finger on the pulse and will know of all upcoming and current vacancies that meet your criteria.

Monthly Property Rental Budget

Your property rental budget needs to be carefully considered and must include not just the rent, but also utilities and any maintenance costs that you may need to contribute to. You do not want to be living on a shoestring with all your money going into rent. It is important to have sufficient funds for your daily living and the occasional splurge.

Using on your monthly base take home income you should be able to decide exactly how much you can afford for rent. Once this is decided stick to the budget and make sure you do not exceed it by telling the realtor you will not consider anything over your budget.

Types of Property Rentals

Renting real estate comes in many forms and we've outlined the most common below:

Apartment Rental

Renting an apartment is the most popular option for many as it is also the most economical. When looking for an apartment you should consider the neighbors, any management rules with regards to pets and noise levels. Another important factor is how safe you feel in the location and whether there are quality locking mechanisms on the exterior doors and windows.

House Rental

A house offers extra space and privacy for families together with a yard for children to play in. Another benefit of a house is that they are usually larger and have more storage space which allows everyone to spread out into their own areas,

Land Rental

Renting land is handy for many reasons. Land can be used for business purposes as well as to place storage containers on. There is the option to live on rented land whilst considering whether the type of lifestyle will suit you.

Rental Duration

Almost all rentals require you to sign a lease and pay a bond which is refundable at the end of the term of the lease. The lease is a legally binding agreement that stipulates obligations of both parties; the landlord and the tenant. Lease can be issued short or long term with the most common being 6 or 12 months with renewal options.

Rental Contracts

Rental contracts vary and it is really a matter of personal choice. It is up to you to decide what kind of arrangement is most suited to your needs. However, it is important to note than many landlords do stipulate minimal rental periods which are usually between 6 and 12 months. Multi-year lease for a high-end luxury apartmentsare also fairly common in high price real estate zones such as New York and Miami.

Once a lease has been signed it becomes a legally binding agreement, so it is essential to carefully read the document before signing. If you are unsure of any aspects seek advice prior to entering into the contract.

Know Your Landlord

A rental is usually arranged through an agent as opposed to direct with the landlord. However, this should not prevent you asking for a little more information about your landlord.

Common questions to ask include whether they live overseas, how long they have been the owner, do they intend to live in the rental property at a future date?

What is Renters Insurance?

Renters insurance covers any damage to your property. There are a variety of policies available and you should pay careful attention to choose one that meets your needs. Some insurers offer replacement cost insurance while others will pay cash value.

  • Cash value means what the property was worth at the time of the incident
  • Replacement cost means the cost of replacing the item.

The best renters insurance policies cover storm, riot, smoke, theft and explosions. Floods, earthquakes and hurricanes are generally not included in these policies. Separate policies are available for these specific disasters and you should talk to an experienced insurance broker to clarify your needs.

It is important to think carefully about your needs and then choose the option which best meets them.

How much does Renters Insurance cost?

Costs rangebetween $15-$30 per month. The premium depends on several factors including where you live and the excess deductibility of any claim.

Shop around and do a comparative, but it's definitely insurance worth getting as the cost is very reasonable and having insurance provides peace of mind.

6 Questions to Ask When Choosing your Realtor

Choosing the right realtor is a challenge and we've provided this handy list of open questions to help you get your realtor chatting which will help you decide who the best fit for your needs.

  1. Tell me why you chose a career in real estate?
  2. Tell me about your strategy for selling homes?
  3. Please explain your fees and charges and any other costs you think I need to be aware of.
  4. What's your favourite part of being a realtor?
  5. Tell me about how we would communicate if I choose you as my realtor
  6. How do you think I should set up for an open house?
Do I need a real estate to rent out my home?

No, you can rent it out yourself. However, a real estate agent is a professional with experience that can make the rental experience stress free as a good agent will advertise, do background checks and arrange the lease for you.

I am thinking of investing in real estate, what is the best option?

A long term rental apartment can be a good investment as once the tenant and lease are in place there is very little work involved, especially if you use a real estate agency to manage the rental.

What kind of insurance do I need as a renter?

If you are renting it is prudent to take out rental insurance as this will protect your belongings and provide peace of mind. Some landlords may also require you to take out this kind of insurance.

Can my landlord access my rental property at any time?

A landlord can only enter the property without notice for emergency repairs. Your lease will contain the terms of notice they need to provide. This is normally either 24 or 48 hours.