Getting approved for a rental is often a relief and delight. Once you’ve been accepted, the real fun starts! The next steps are signing the lease, paying the bond, picking up the keys, and doing your condition report. Then there are the other must-do tasks to get your rental up and running.
1. Connect your utilities
When you move into a rental, arranging your utilities in advance is a good idea to make your transition easier and more comfortable. Sometimes apartment buildings have utilities already connected - so it's a good idea to double-check with your property manager.
It is a good idea to arrange for everything to be turned on either the day before or the day you move in by calling your provider. It will take a few days for the company to set this up in advance.
Ensure that you shop around for the best deals with your provider. Your plan should also be adjusted based on whether you want a long or short contract.
2. Moving In
You can make moving day less stressful by having a game plan.
To help you prepare for the big day, here is a checklist:
To prevent wasting movers' time and your money, prepare everything for the shipment before they arrive.
To prepare appliances for relocation, ensure they have been turned off at least 24 hours prior. Make sure your washing machine is drained and your freezer is defrosted.
Hot Tip: The contents of the boxes should be labelled, along with the room where they should be delivered.
Before you unpack, sweep, mop, and clean all surfaces.
If you have young kids or animals, consider finding them a play date or somewhere to go during the move.
Make a daypack in advance that includes a phone charger, medications, food, water, a toothbrush, and items for any pets. Anything you might need while unpacking. Dont forget scissors and bandaids!
Take photos of the condition and fill out your condition report before starting.
3. Essentials that every rental needs
Making your new home feel like your own can be fun process, by using temporary sticker hooks you can easily place art and photos on your walls quickly without ruining the walls.
Rentals can instantly feel like home with some well-chosen accessories.
Kitchenware – Besides the obvious things like cutlery, pots, pans, wooden spoons, etc, finding nice placemats and plates can instantly brighten up the space.
Furniture – This sounds like a no-brainer, but many people delay buying bigger items when it's best to bite the bullet early on. A good couch is always worth the investment.
Bed sheets – Clean linen is one of the most welcoming things after a big day of moving. Don't forget all the rest of the linen, including towels and tea towels!
Cleaning supplies – Be prepared and come with mops, brushes, clothes, and cleaning agents to clean as you unpack.
Toiletries – Toothbrushes, toothpaste and toilet paper.
Luxuries – For some people, this may be books, candles or incense; for others, it might be art to decorate your space. Regardless of what your luxury items are, be sure to include them to help you settle in.
4. Quick fixes to decorate your rental
When you're renting, a house renovation is out of the question, but you can make a rental feel more homely with a few quick hacks.
Lighting – swap any lightbulbs over to your desired colour, such as warm yellow bulbs, to create an ambience. (Note: store any original bulbs and fixtures to replace when you move out.)
Indoor plants – greenery can instantly soften a room and will not damage walls.
Rugs – to hide wooden floors and tiles, and to soften sound in a room.
New bedding – can help you settle in and create a design aesthetic.
Hang art – while you may have to get permission to put in more wall hooks, it will be worth it, with art being a great way to communicate your style.
Accessorise – cushions, rugs, throws, vases and mirrors. Homewares can help individualise a rental.
Change the shower curtain – these make a funky or colourful addition to the bathroom and can help set the tone or theme for what would otherwise be a plain white bathroom.
Portable kitchen island – if your rental lacks bench space, then a portable island or butcher's block can be a useful addition.
Swap curtains – this can be a simple and effective way to dress rooms and bring in colour without making any permanent changes.
5. How to maintain your rental property
Tenants are responsible for maintaining their properties, which can cost money and time.
You must mow the lawn, weed the garden, clean the toilets, wash the walls occasionally, and change the light bulbs when necessary - after all, this is your home.
You'll find it much easier to tackle a massive clean when you've got to move out by putting in a little effort regularly.
It is important to note that there are exceptions to maintenance, which include major repairs, such as fixing leaking taps and appliances, which are the landlord's responsibility.
It is important to let your property manager know as soon as possible if any issues need addressing.
6. Common mistakes to avoid
Not reading the fine print - lease agreements may include end-of-lease requirements, rules, and additional requests that may surprise you.
Apartment living and house living offer vastly different lifestyles, and while we can adapt, it can be expensive to terminate a lease, so you should know what type of property you require.
When viewing your new home with rose-coloured glasses, it is easy to underestimate the importance of a condition report. The condition report protects both you as a tenant and the landlord.
Renters may ignore minor problems such as a faulty stove or leaking tap, but these could conceal a much larger issue. Once you become aware of any problems, contact your property manager.
Adding new housemates to the lease can be tedious, but it will give you peace of mind in the long run. You may be left with the cost of your flatmate skipping town without paying rent or damaging the property if they are not on the lease.