On the hunt: what to look for in a Rental Property in Christchurch
 
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We all know that New Zealanders love to own their own houses, but with the current financial climate, it’s not always a possibility especially with the high deposit you need to secure when buying your first house. But renting a house has its perks too: it’s cheaper than paying a mortgage, and your bills are more predictable. This means more money in your savings account and more flexibility. The hard part about renting is knowing what to look for in a rental property, especially in a place like Christchurch as since the earthquakes finding good rental properties has become more difficult. We’ve put together everything you should look for when you’re considering renting a house in Christchurch.

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Know what you want

The best way to know what to look for is to know what it is you want. Think carefully about the rental property you’d like to rent that best suits your lifestyle. For example, if you’re into surfing? Look close to the beach in places like Sumner. If you’ve got a car, then you should be looking at rental properties that come with parking spaces – off street in particular. If security is big concern for you because you live on your own, you don’t want to live in a ground floor flat. Write out exactly what is you’re looking for before even starting to approach rental companies. It will save you time!

Other things to consider:

  • Do you want a rental property that’s furnished or unfurnished?
  • Are there laundry facilities?
  • Does the house have the appropriate appliances?
  • What’s the outdoor area like?
  • Do you want flatmates or are you flying solo?
  • If you have kids, what are the nearby schools like?
  • Do they allow pets? Some places are more cat-friendly than dog-friendly?
  • When is the property available and how long is the lease for?

While knowing what you want is imperative, it’s also good to know what conditions you’re willing to be more flexible with.

Here, there, anywhere – making the rental process easier on yourself

Knowing what you want in a rental property in Christchurch is one thing, but finding the right place to live is another. Since the earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, it hasn’t been easy to find good rental properties as some areas of town are simply uninhabitable. Not only that but sifting through rental properties online and in the property magazines takes time and energy, and when you work full-time it can be hard to find that time and energy. At Cowdy & Co. we can help ease the pain of the rental property process. We know the best areas for rental properties in the city and we can help you make the choice of where to live in post-quake Christchurch. A lot has changed in our beloved city, and suburbs that were hot to trot in 2009 aren’t the same anymore. If you’ve got questions about which suburbs have the most to offer, get in touch with us and we can help guide you through Christchurch’s new terrain.

Research the Christchurch property first

Even if you think you’ve found the rental property of your dreams in Christchurch, you’ve got to do your research to avoid unpleasant surprises down the road. Some of the most important things you should look into are:

  • Ask your Property Manager at Cowdy & Co. what the owner’s attitude towards maintenance is.
  • Remember this is Christchurch – has an engineer had a look at the place? Is it safe? Are there repairs that still need to be made? What kind of damage did the building sustain in the earthquakes? This may seem daunting, but your safety is important.
  • Will you need to move out if earthquake repairs have not started yet?

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Eyes Wide Open

When you’re going for a walk-through, keep your eyes wide open. Be sure to note the following:

  • Imperfections
  • Previous residents
  • Recent renovations
  • Water pressure
  • Hot water – is it gas or electric?
  • Appliances – stove, washing machine, dryer, etc.
  • Toilet and shower
  • Air conditioners and heaters
  • Light fixtures and wiring

In a Christchurch rental property you want to make sure that the heating sources are functioning and well! You can also inquire about insulations, any previous issues with mold, and double glazing of the windows. The right rental property won’t make you sick; it’ll keep you dry, warm, happy and healthy.

If you’ve found several Cowdy rental properties that you’d like to have a look at, one of our Property Managers can arrange a viewing. We want you to show up at the property prepared – that way you can make the best of the opportunity and so do we.

Make the most of this opportunity by having a checklist with the following:

  • Note how well the rental property has been maintained. Check the windows and look for cracks.
  • Storage – is there enough and is it easy to access?
  • Double check the heating – is it gas or electrical? Look into how this will affect your bills!
  • Sockets – are there enough?
  • Run the taps, bath and shower, and flush the toilet to see that they all work? How does the water get heated?
  • Does the property feel secure? Note the locks and other extra security features? If there’s an alarm, is it easy to use?
  • Is there parking? If not, what’s the public transportation like? How close is the nearest shop?
  • What’s the suburb like at night? Try coming back later on and doing a drive by to check out the night life.
  • What’s the noise like? Is there construction happening nearby?! It’s Christchurch, of course there is.

And last but not least, if you’re able to get in touch with previous tenants then do so. They’ll give you a great insight into what it’s like to live in that specific rental property.

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Whatever you do, don’t get discouraged. Sometimes it can take longer than you think to find the right rental property in Christchurch. Take your time to figure out what your needs are and where in Christchurch you want to live. Then, if you’re struggling to find the time to hunt down the rental of your dreams, get in touch with us! No one knows Christchurch property better than Cowdy & Co. We can help you find the perfect rental property: it’s what we do best.

So contact us today!

Additional Reading:

http://www.dbh.govt.nz/tenancy-right-place

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/04/things-you-should-ask-when-renting_n_4823559.html

http://freshome.com/2008/05/28/10-things-you-must-know-before-renting-an-apartment/