It is important to know what you want in order to find the right rental property, even if you are only renting a property temporarily while your current home is undergoing renovation works, or if you are in the midst of moving to a new home.
While your real estate agent, if you have opted to hire one, will ensure that you are able to find a suitable place to reside in temporarily, it wouldn't hurt to make your own list of things you are looking for in a rental property - and to tick them off as you go.
• Budget: This is first and foremost the most important thing you will need to consider before anything else. Determining your budget will help you determine the type of rental property that best suits your needs, within your limitations, and should effectively stop you from falling in love with a property that you cannot afford.
Having a budget in mind does not only mean taking into account your future expenses for renting a property, but also looking at the price that rental properties typically go for in the location you are considering. This will mean that you have to do some research on the matter, especially if you already have an ideal location in mind.
• Location: Location is probably the most important factor for you to consider if you are bringing a family along. If you have children, you will need to look into the matter of schools.
Since it is likely that you will not want your children to transfer to different schools when you move to a temporary home, you will need to consider if the location of the rental property poses an inconvenience to the amount of distance your children will have to travel to school and back each day. This is especially important if you are planning to stay in your temporary home for a significant period of time. Also, you have to consider the travelling distance and time to your workplace.
• Size and layout: Even if it is only temporary, you have to consider the size if the property you are renting. Can it fit all of your belongings? Is it of a size and layout that you are comfortable with?
If there is a possibility of you staying in your temporary home for an indefinite period of time, you will need to think about whether this is a space that you can grow into. Similarly, if you have a family with you, then you will need to take into consideration how many rooms you and your family members will need.
If there is not enough space for all of your belongings and you are determined to make this particular rental property your new temporary home, you will need to rent an additional storage unit. You will then have to calculate the cost of renting a storage unit and the duration that you will need the additional storage for.
As an alternative, you may opt to sell the furniture that cannot fit into your new rental home. This does not necessarily apply only to space, however; sometimes, you might find that a bed that you're bringing into your new home cannot even fit through the front door. These potential inconveniences should also be taken into consideration when deciding on a rental property.
• Facilities: Another factor to consider is the kind of facilities available to you and your family. For example, if you are renting a condominium unit, you should look at the facilities which are available to you, such as access to the condominium's gymnasium, swimming pool and enclosed car park.
If you are renting a HDB flat or a landed residential property, you will need to look at the proximity of grocery shops, markets, shopping malls and sports amenities. If these facilities are what you are looking for and they are conveniently available to you, then the property is worth considering.
• Transportation: Is the location served by a large number of bus and other public transportation services? This is one question you need to ask yourself if the rental property you are eyeing is not located near your workplace or your school. If you have to change buses two or three times just to get to your destination, then it probably isn't ideal.
• Furnishing: Rental properties can be partially furnished, fully furnished or completely void of any furnishings. Moderately furnished rental properties are usually kitted out with light fixtures, air-conditioning and basic laundry and kitchen equipment.
Fully furnished properties more often than not include additional items such as beds, sofas and a television. It is important that you discuss with the landlord the level of furnishing that will be provided beforehand and how much it would cost.
• State of the property: Inspect your options in person. Check if there are any signs of a leaking roof or a pest infestation. You should also check if there are cracks in the ceiling or in the walls.
While this may not necessarily mean that the property is structurally unsound, you should bring it up beforehand with the landlord, especially if you still, for some reason, plan to rent it. Check with the landlord to see if he or she will take responsibility for the rectification works, if necessary, including expenses.
• Neighbourhood: When you do go for a rental viewing, make sure to observe the neighbourhood of the rental property you are viewing. If you are not tolerant of noise in the neighbourhood, you may want to make sure that the property you are renting is not located near basketball courts or soccer pitches or next to a busy road.
You should be sure that you are comfortable living in the neighbourhood that your rental property is located in, which means taking note of your closest neighbours as well. If you can imagine yourself living there, then the property is worth considering.