Home ownership is not a viable option for you now. You choose to rent because the long-term financial commitment does not work for your current income. But along with the benefits of a short-term commitment and the flexibility it offers come some challenges. Here are three problems you might encounter as a tenant and their possible solutions.
1. You have limited budget for rent
If you have limited budget for rent, it means your options for neighbourhoods are also limited. Certain areas are pricier than others. The ‘pricier’ areas tend to be more desirable in terms of accessibility and proximity to amenities. Cheaper, though, does not always mean bad. You can find affordable apartments to rent. Look for areas with high rental vacancy, which indicates lower prices.
Alternatively, evaluate your needs. What do you need to prioritise: a house with an open plan kitchen and access to public transportation or safe parking area and proximity to the beach?
2. You are competing with several other potential tenants
The best places to rent typically have several competing would-be tenants. When you want to get the house or flat, try to approach the inspection and rental application the way you would a job interview. Landlords are likely to be picky about tenants, and first impressions will count.
Dress well. Provide the necessary documents. Choose the right people as referees — and ask their permission first before you put their names down in an application.
3. You cannot pay your rent on time
It is stressful to think you cannot pay your rent on time. But it could happen. You could get rental assistance under the National Rental Affordability Scheme. The scheme will reduce rental costs for low to medium income households. It also aims to increase more affordable rental properties. Naturally, you have to meet eligibility requirements, which include evidence of residency and bank accounts not exceeding a certain amount.
Challenges will come with renting a house. But you can explore simple means to overcome them — and find a good place to settle in, if only for a year.