Finding the perfect apartment has never been easy, but the coronavirus pandemic has thrown up new issues would-be tenants could never have imagined.
We remember a time when flat hunting involved setting aside time at weekend to scan the classified ads or browse the window of a local newsagent. For years now when flat hunting, instead of scouring the local newspaper, surfing rental ads online has been the best place to start. Usually, if you liked the look of the apartment, you would arrange a viewing and go from there. But during the Covid-19 pandemic, social distancing guidelines have seen virtual tours of apartments become more common.
Moving into an apartment you have not laid your eyes on in person can be nerve-racking. Even if you are looking for serviced apartments or serviced rooms, most people would prefer to see a place for themselves before agreeing to a tenancy. But since that isn’t always possible at the moment, we’ve put together some top tips for finding the perfect apartment during a pandemic.
Do as much research as possible
Well, saying that, it depends how well you know the area already. If you are staying in an area you know very well, then you may not have to do as much research as someone who is relocating to a different part of town, the state or the country. In those instances, you want to make sure that you know as much as possible. Do research on crime rates, area demographics and what your commute will be like. It would also help if you know what bars, restaurants and public transportation are nearby. There are plenty of online resources that will be able to consolidate all that information into one place for you.
Utilise a local rental agent
Rental agents come in handy because they will be able to use their different resources to provide you with the best possible list of places based on your needs and budget. They know the market like the backs of their hands. They will be able to provide you with useful information that will help you make informed decisions. You will save so much time and stress my using a local rental agent.
Take a virtual tour
A virtual tour takes it a step further than a 3D tour. When you take a virtual tour, you are essentially doing a walk through the apartment via video chat. Typically you will be on this virtual tour with the property manager, so you will be able to use that time to fire off any questions you might have about the apartment. Treat the virtual tour like a traditional tour, making sure to ask your guide to show you the insides of closets and things like that.
Be mindful of rental scams
There are a lot of scammers on the internet looking to prey on people who are looking to move. Make sure that you are not one of them. Some red flags to look out for include if someone refuses to do a virtual tour of the property, if the price is way too good to be true, if the listing has tons of grammatical or syntax errors, if you feel like the person you are coordinating with is trying to rush the rental process, if they ask for your financial information before applying to the apartment, if they ask you to wire them money before you sign the lease and if they only want you to pay in cash.