Cape Argus

Think twice before you fly the coop


THOSE eager to rent their own places should stay at home for as long as possible, provided their parents will let them, says Tyson Properties’ Jonathan Davies.

“Save as much money as you can while living at home. Moving out can often be a costly exercise.”

Those determined to gain independen­ce should ensure they do not spend beyond their means. “Settle for something smaller at first within your budget. It may be great having the home of your dreams, but if you can’t afford it you may place yourself in a vulnerable financial position,” he warns.

“Budget carefully before moving out, know exactly what you will be spending. There’s a lot more to independen­ce than the rent. You’ll need to budget for food, petrol, clothing, and discretion­ary income for unexpected expenses.”

Young people entering the rental market must go into the exercise with their eyes wide open, says Lorraine Dellbridge, southern suburbs rental specialist for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s Internatio­nal Realty.

Before their property search, they should ensure their finances are in order, without defaults or judgments.

“Agencies won’t look at an applicatio­n if the credit check is unfavourab­le. They’ll need the deposit, a lease fee in most cases, and the first month’s rent.” Timing is key in most markets, she says. “Make sure you have the required documentat­ion ready to submit, as even a day’s delay could see the property let to someone else.

“It’s first-come, first-served in most cases, especially in sought-after areas.”

For many youngsters moving out of their parents’ home, a flat is often their first foray into the property market, says Dexter Leite, Pam Golding Properties rental manager for the Cape region. But there are issues to consider when making the move:

Location: Is the property close to work/college/university and amenities?

Affordabil­ity: How much can you afford? Beware upfront and hidden costs.

Safety and security: Find out about crime in the area from the local community policing forum or neighbourh­ood watch. Look at the security of the home.

Furniture and fittings: Have a good idea of what furniture and fittings will be needed.

Hidden costs: Look at the state of the property and ask questions about possible damage and the upkeep required.

Understand your lease. Tenants need to inspect their new homes properly and assess upfront what the landlord is prepared to do in terms of any defects. They should ensure these defects are listed in the lease with a repair date, says Dellbridge.

Tenants are also advised not to get caught in a lease that is not in line with laws. Be aware of hidden costs, such as late rent payment fees.

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