1. Know What You Want
First of all, know what your budget is. If you can’t decide on a budget, freshome suggests following the “rule” not to exceed 30-percent of your monthly income. Now that you have narrowed that down, take the time to list out requirements that you need and requirements that you would like/want. If you are apartment hunting as a couple or group, make sure you all agree on the “non-negotiables” eg non-smoking house, minimum 2 bathrooms or must be close to public transport. Lastly, agree on areas or locations you like but keep an open mind!
2. Decide If You Need An Agent
Apartment renting can be quite time consuming and frustrating. If you are doing this on your own, take the time to troll websites such as Propwall.my or Mudah.my to see what is available at your selected locations. Keep your list handy to make sure you are not wasting your time.
Deciding to use an agent really depends on how much time you have for research and how experienced you are at finding apartments on your own. Real estate agents take away the guessing game and are in the know of the latest and greatest. They will even do the leg work for you vetting the apartments according to your “non-negotiables” list. All this for a price of course!
3. New Is Better
Newer is better, because there are less problems that surface from an old property. Look out for newly renovated or built apartments for rent. The best tip a real estate agent in KL gave me was to always lookout for recently constructed apartment towers, take a drive over to check it out and if you like what you see, ask the people at the entry booth or at reception for details of several real estate agent responsible for that apartment towers. This way you cut out a large portion of the fee by going to them and doing most of the legwork yourself. Remember to be vigilant of any scammers out there. Always research that the company they work for is legitimate.
4. Sell Yourself
Like a job interview, prepare a resume of some sorts to give the landlord a brief history of yourself. Include things like your budget, references and a short description of your renting history to sell them on how reliable and trustworthy you are as a desirable tenant.
Dress nice and professional during your meetings with the real estate agent and also landlord but nothing too flashy. Leave the branded accessories at home. We are dressing to impress; not raising rent!
5. Be Prepared
Gather as much information as you can before deciding on the apartment. Before thinking that it’s the place for you, research the market rate for that apartment building plus have a walk around the complex and speak to the tenants. Ask them about the area and feel free to stay for a bit to observe the traffic noise or check out the facilities upkeep quality.
Quite a bit of money is forked out in the beginning such as one month’s rent as “earnest deposit” when signing the letter of offer, two months rental as “security deposit” and half a month’s rent as “utility deposit”. So make sure you have enough saved up.
Don’t be shy. Take back the power and negotiate if you like to. Don’t be pushy but present options by maybe asking for a longer lease in exchange for a lower rental rate. If you would like certain appliances added to the home such as a dryer, make sure to ask for it upfront and confirm in writing by email before signing anything.
Searching for the perfect home for rent might not be easy, but following these 6 tips would definitely make your hunt a lot easier!