A Guide To Renting A Property
First of all you need to establish just how much you can afford for rent. What is your monthly income? It is advisable to not spend more than 30% of your ‘take home’ salary on rent. So, as an example lets say your salary, after you have paid your tax and social security is €1200. In an ideal world you do not want to be paying more than €360 per month on rent.
You will also have to take into account the utility bills which are extra per month. Until you settle into your lease, it is recommended that you allocate €100 per month.
If you cannot find a suitable rental property for your budget, perhaps you can consider sharing?
So What Type Of Property?
Are you looking for an apartment, a villa or a house of character? Must there be a lift? Do you need to be close to transport links or schools? What about appliances, is it essential for a gas hob and dishwasher? Do you need the property to accept pets? If you cannot get your exact location for your budget are you prepared to move to the next town?
Make a list of all your preferred criteria, but also what you can compromise on, it will help you narrow down your search.
Lets Start Looking.
The easiest way to look for rental property is online. Here in Malta there are, it seems; hundreds of agents, hundreds of Facebook sites..(a lot of people do business over Facebook here in Malta) The typical problem you come up against is, and you will find this out the hard way: is that High Street Agents generally do not keep their listings up to date. You may see a great apartment on their website only to discover it has not been available for years! A typical high street agency will get together a list of their rental vacancies that may suit you, (and many that won’t) and will take you out to view these properties. You can also find rental property Facebook forums, these tend to be slightly better at being up to date. The caution here is; Are you dealing with the actual owner? You can also find property in the local classified sections of the Sunday Press.
Of course if you are reading this guide, you are on our HomeRentMalta.com website, that has owners listing their available property, and is up to date.
How To View.
Depending on how you plan to view your options for a new rental property – (either through an agent or viewing privately) you will want to give yourself ample time to view and get to your next appointment. Try to book viewing appointments on the one day and remember to take your mobile phone with camera! Set up appointments through an agent or direct with the landlord and allocate at least 30 minutes per property.
Good Impressions Count!
On visiting your potential new home it is vital to make a good impression with the owner or the owners representative. They will be looking for someone who is reliable, going to pay their rent on time and approachable. Dress smartly, this is an ‘interview’ of sorts. Arrive for your appointment on time, you want to show that you are considerate and it comes across that you will pay your rent on time!
What To Look For Inside.
- Are their signs of mould or mildew on the walls or ceiling?
- Make a point of opening all cupboard door and windows, check everything that has a lock …
- Check the water pressure in the shower. Flush the toilets. Check that the water heater works
- Check for obvious signs of wear and tear, broken tiles, holes in curtains, fly screens burst.
- What is the heating like? Heating? Malta? Winters can be very cold and damp, be prepared.
- Can you access the utility meters freely?
Time to Ask Questions.
While on your initial look around the property, keep any little niggles and doubts to yourself until you are satisfied that you could live there. However there are questions that you should be asking at this stage if you are considering taking a lease:
- Confirm the monthly rent
- What is the amount for deposit?
- What is the date for paying rent?
- Do they want cash in hand every month or paid into bank?
- What is the procedure for any maintenance required?
- What am I, the tenant, responsible for?
- Do you allow pets? (if applicable)
- Does the Landlord provide receipts for all payments?
- What are the neighbours/neighbourhood like?
- What are your rights to any outdoor areas?
- The MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION; What is the electricity tariff?
Keep these questions lighthearted, you want to establish a good working relationship with your future landlord.