According to Ward, the worst thing a renter can do is to look for homes before knowing what they can afford. The rule of thumb is that a renter needs to earn three-times the monthly rental amount. Not every rental will apply this rule as strictly, but it is safer to keep your search as close within this price bracket as possible if you want to avoid disappointment.
Tenants need to have a good credit record before they can apply for a rental – this can be anything from a cell-phone contract to a store account. It is vital that you keep your credit record clean by making sure you pay the instalments timeously each month. Consumers can obtain an annual free credit report from the credit bureaus within the country to check their credit record for any inaccuracies before applying for a rental.
“When going to view a rental property, make sure you have a copy of your latest payslip, latest three-month bank statement, as well as a copy of your ID readily available. If you like the property, ask the agent for the rental application before you leave and make sure to send the completed form, along with the required documents already mentioned, back to the agent that same day,” says Ward.
In order to secure the property, Ward advises consumers to pay the deposit as soon as the application has been approved. “Make sure you have enough saved for a deposit before you get your hopes set on a property. The deposit is normally around two-months’ rent upfront, and there can also sometimes be a nominal admin fee charged by the rental agents,” she adds.
“Renting your first property is an exciting experience that can also be very stressful and overwhelming if you are not prepared for what it entails. The best advice would be for tenants to seek out a reputable agent who can guide them through the process,” Ward concludes.