Looking to rent during lockdown? Here’s what you need to know
Right about now, most of us are more than familiar with the restrictions that come with on again, off again lockdowns.
That’s not to say it’s easy, however, and it can be particularly challenging if you find yourself in a situation where you need to move rental premises.
So, if you’re looking to rent during lockdown, here’s a quick guide to assist.
Start your search online
The search for any rental property begins online, with the real estate portals and agent websites your first port of call.
Take the time to assess the property carefully, looking at images and the description. Then we would suggest you also do your own further research, Googling the suburb, looking at maps and considering exactly what you’re after in terms of nearby amenities etc.
Depending on where you are, you may not be able to visit the property or do a drive-by, so the internet is your biggest asset.
Meanwhile, pick up the phone and talk to the property manager to discuss any questions you may have.
What’s the go with inspections?
The rules about in-person inspections of rental properties vary from state-to-state, and they can change pretty quickly.
For example, in Victoria at the moment, you cannot attend a property inspection, even if it’s one-on-one. Nor can an agent do a live walk-through of a property to give you a virtual tour.
Instead, prospective renters are encouraged to view properties online, and then apply if they’re happy with what they see.
The Victorian real estate industry as a whole is currently trying have this altered so in-person inspections can still take place in a COVID-safe manner, but for now the ban on in-person inspections remains.
In New South Wales, one-on-one inspections are still allowed but they need to be arranged with the property manager so they can be conducted in adherence with guidelines.
Our top piece of advice would be, if you see a property online that you’re interested in, reach out to the agency advertising it to work out whether you can inspect the property and how to go about the application process.
The application process
One of the biggest trends emerging in real estate over the past 18 months has been the uptake of digital forms.
That means, in the case of lockdown, you can now apply for a property and sign a rental agreement without having to visit the real estate agency.
Our key piece of advice here is to have all the information you need for your application ready, particularly if you are in an area where the rental vacancy rate is low and there is increased competition for available properties.
You can read more about the information and forms you will need here.
Can you undertake a removal?
The short answer is yes. In all states and territories you can still move houses, but different restrictions apply.
For example, if you’re moving from one state to another, you may be required to undergo hotel quarantine.
If you’re moving in Victoria at the moment, you can engage a removalist but curfews are in place.
The key takeaway here is to check the relevant state or territory guidelines about how and when removals can take place.
How we can help
Our experienced property managers pride themselves on establishing great relationships with both rental occupiers and owners.
We manage every property as if it were our own and you can learn more about our property management services here.
Alternatively, if you are looking to rent a property, you can view the properties we currently have available here.