Questions to ask yourself as you search for a flat to rent

Questions to ask yourself as you search for a flat to rent

Finding a place to live in for six months or even two years is not something to take lightly. It’s easy to be wrapped up in the idea of searching for an affordable flat to rent and hope you like it enough to put down a payment. But there are other factors that should be considered in your hunting process. 

It’s good to keep in mind that you’re making a commitment when you move into a flat, so, you should think about how moving into the new flat will impact your lifestyle. Does it fit? Will it make your life easier? Will you have access to places that are a huge part of your life? 

Then you have to think about the more difficult questions such as; do you know how to rent an apartment? And will you afford it for the duration of your stay? The truth is, property management is also going to be committing to you. So, they are also likely to have a bunch of ”rental questions to ask the tenant,” which you’ll have to be ready to answer.

You don’t want to pick a place to live in out of desperation, hating it a month into your stay. To make sure that this doesn’t happen, you’ll need to do some homework during your hunt for an apartment. Below, you’ll find questions to add to your apartment hunting checklist and ask yourself as you progress in the process.

What makes you a good and qualified tenant?

We often think about ‘qualifications’ when it comes to job hunting or studying, but it’s not necessarily important only in the academic sphere. As you’re searching for a place that fits, you also need to ask yourself what makes you a good and qualified tenant. 

Landlords don’t want to have tenants that will become problematic. So, they look for people who qualify to become good tenants. This is evident in the list of requirements for applications. For example, long-term employment, which indicates a stable income. 

This also includes a credit check and background check to gain information on your history and ability to pay your bills, and whether you’re always on time or late. Your ability to follow rules also plays a role because every property has its own set of rules and chances are you’ll pay some penalty for breaking them. 

Who are you moving with? 

This is an important detail to think about from the beginning. If you’re moving in with your partner or a friend, you need to consider what that looks like both in terms of the living arrangements and the leasing agreement. If it’s either of the two, you need to decide who will be on the lease. The decision will need to be based on the above qualities.

For example, if two people are on the lease, they both need to be responsible people and have the ability to pay on time. If you choose to be the leaseholder, you’ll be responsible for making sure that the other person holds their end of the deal. 

What type of apartment do you want?

Taking into consideration the question above, you’ll need to decide on what type of apartment you want. Typical options include apartments with one, two or three bedrooms, and you can choose according to your needs and affordability.

What kind of neighbourhood will you be comfortable in?

This is where you take a look into your lifestyle to learn about your preferences. If you’re searching for accommodation in the city and don’t have a car, chances are, you will prioritise looking for a flat close to public transportation. This will add value to your life as it will make the commute manageable. You also need to consider whether you prefer a quiet neighbourhood or don’t mind a lively neighbourhood. One of the best rental viewing tips to practice is to start taking a look and walk around the neighbourhood when you go view your potential listing. It will help you get an idea of how the area makes you feel. 

When will you be ready to move?

As you’re doing your search, you have to consider the timeline of your move. If you’re living at home, you won’t need to serve a notice period, but exactly when will you be ready to move? That’s the question you need to ask yourself. If you’re moving with another person, you need to find out if you will both be ready at the same time or not. Moving into a new place also requires furniture, moving transportation costs, deposit and full rent costs. So, costs are a huge part of your decision making.

Final thoughts

When you’re on the hunt for affordable housing in Johannesburg, whether it's flats to rent in Kempton Park or flats to rent in Newtown, you need to be sure that you’re asking yourself the right questions. This is because, in the end, you want to live in an apartment that you will be comfortable in. We’re certain you can find this at Johannesburg Housing Company, contact us to discuss your options.