Smart Renting for People Who Work at Home
Now that we’re about six months into this global pandemic, I think people have steadily grown to accept the fact that working from home is going to be the new normal, probably for the next couple of years.
While many countries have gotten the virus under control, any attempt at normalcy appears to just lead us back to spikes in cases and so unfortunately it looks like normalcy won’t be returning until we’ve got ourselves a vaccination.
It’s not an ideal scenario but people are still dying so for the benefit of those who are at risk it’s a necessary measure for us to have taken and to continue to take going forward. And while I’ve mentioned it’s not ideal, that’s not a universal sentiment.
Many people have discovered the unsung benefits of not having to travel into an office every single day. I mean it’s less social for sure, and it’s not an option that’s available to every line of work, but it’s not without its advantages.
You can get a few extra hours of sleep, you’re saving a lot of time and money on the journey to and from work and you have complete control over the environment and surroundings of your workspace.
So with working from home likely going to be your setup going forward, the fact that where you live is also going to be your place of work is something that you need to consider when you’re renting a place.
You always need to be wise when you’re renting, but this just adds an extra necessity for good decision-making. So let’s have a look at the stuff you need to keep in mind in order to be smart when renting:
Be Familiar With Your Rights
Oftentimes it doesn’t feel like it, but you have rights as a renter. One of the biggest disadvantages of living in a place that you don’t actually own is that the landlord will be the one making most of the decisions.
This is something that you need to accept as a renter, but it’s also something that a landlord can abuse, and your rights are protecting you from that. Renter’s rights differ from place to place but you should be able to find all the information you need online.
The apartment itself will likely be your responsibility in terms of keeping the place clean and not damaging any of the furniture or appliances but things like electricity, heating, and the general condition of the building are up to the landlord.
And if these necessities are not up to scratch and the conditions are not livable then you are within your rights to hold your landlord accountable. It can be daunting and you might feel like you’re powerless if something preventable goes wrong, but that’s not the case.
You are paying for a place to live, it’s probably where most of your money is going to be going so you shouldn’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of. Know your rights before you move in so you can be adequately prepared in case the situation goes awry.
Consider Your Credit Score
Switching gears a little bit here, I don’t want to give the impression that landlords are malicious people by nature, that is of absolutely not the case, they’re just in a position of power which they could abuse if they saw fit.
But they are still people and you do need to consider things from their perspective too. When you’re trying to rent somewhere, the landlord is going to do a thorough examination on you before offering you an opportunity to move in.
You want to make sure that you’re not going to be perceived as a liability to the property owner and there are a number of different things that they are going to be checking up on to ensure that this isn’t the case.
They’ll check to see if you’ve got any kind of criminal record or any references from other landlords who’ve taken you on as a tenant. But the most important thing to them is whether or not they’re going to get their money.
The worst kind of tenant is one who doesn’t pay rent. Your credit score will be what informs your landlord of how responsible you are with your money and thus, how likely you are to regularly miss rental payments.
So you want to make sure that you’ve got a favourable credit score before you start looking at places. Pay your bills on time, be responsible with your credit card use, and make sure that you stay as much out of debt as possible and you should be good.
Know the Area Well
Being a bit more specific to the working from home situation, you need to think about the fact that you are going to be spending the vast majority of your time in the place you’re renting for the next year or two.
It’s even more important than usual for you to know what’s going on in the area like the back of your hand. Walk around, hang out in local bars and cafes and see what kind of people live around, what sort of things happen during the day.
If it’s a particularly loud and boisterous area that wouldn’t be an optimal working environment for you at all. Think hard about this because you have to remember that it’s not just going to be your home, it’s going to be your place of work too and there are different factors that inform a healthy workspace.
What this all basically comes down to is the fact that the place you rent is now going to have double the importance that it would normally have, and that means that you need to be extra smart about your renting decisions.
If you’re someone who isn’t fond of the idea of working from home in general, then you have to maximise the environment to ensure that you don’t go crazy and so how you approach renting is essential.