A guide for those looking to make the move to the city

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The inner city is a big and diverse place and, while the common perception might be that the inner city is dirty and unsafe, this is only true for some areas. There are many clean, safe and well-connected areas that are ideal for thriving city life. As this becomes increasingly evident, many people are ditching their long commutes in favour of the convenience of city life.

Making the move can have an enormously positive impact, provided that you’re well-prepared and know what to look out for on your search for the perfect urban pad. Ithemba Property has put together a guide to help navigate the ins and outs of moving to the city.

Finding your new home

The first and most important things to consider are your ideal location and your budget. Before you pack your bags and wave goodbye to the neighbours, it’s a good idea to work out exactly how much you can afford to spend on rent and utilities. You’ll also need to make sure that you find a home that meets your needs and takes into consideration time and costs required to travel to work every day – the less time and money spent travelling, the better.

Understanding the full cost of renting

Rentals from reputable agents and property managers in the city generally range between R2,900 and R3,500 per month for a bachelor, while one-bedroom units are between R3,800 and R4,500, and two-bedroom units between R4,900 and R6,000 per month.

When comparing rents, make sure you ask the sales agent about any additional charges that might apply. Some landlords advertise apartments at cheap rates, but you end up paying more altogether because of all the excess fees they add on once you sign a lease agreement. The last thing you want is to find yourself locked into a rental contract you can’t afford.

Smart utilities

Something to bear in mind here is that, although the rent in newer buildings may be a little higher, the new technologies employed in terms of security and economical water and electricity usage will save you hundreds of Rands per month on your utilities.

Reputation is everything

Finding a reputable rental agency will ensure that you get the most from your city life and city home. The best place to look for a flat is online, on sites like Property24 and Private Property, as they’ll not only have the largest selection of options to show but also offer some assurance that you’re dealing with bona fide landlords and agents.

Seeing is believing

Once you’ve found something that grabs your interest, ask to view the unit before signing a lease – make an adventure of it and go and see the apartment in person. Check all the fittings and fixtures such as lights, doors, locks, taps, windows, the stove, etc., and make sure it’s all in good working condition or that the necessary repairs are included in a snag list. That way, you’ll know what you are in for from the get-go and can get any problems sorted upfront.

Understanding the application process

When you have found your new home and you are ready to sign the agreement, you will need to have the correct documentation ready. This will usually include your ID, three months of recent bank statements, as well as your latest payslip or registration at an educational institution such as a college or university. You should be aware that most rental agencies will run credit checks before approving your rental application, and will require a deposit upfront. Be prepared for this.

Be sure to read the rental contract carefully and take the time to understand everything, especially what your rights and responsibilities are in terms of the agreement, including notice periods, what happens to your security deposit, and any additional stipulations and conditions of the agreement.

Finally, it’s a good idea to get to know the neighbourhood you’ll be moving to. That way you’ll know where to find transport if you need it and whether there are childcare facilities or playgrounds in the area.

Moving up in life

City living has a lot to offer such as revitalised community areas that merge retail and residential, new and newly-renovated buildings that are clean, safe and well maintained, as well as easy access to transport nodes. It really is a great time to make the move to the city!

Johannesburg cityscape and moonlight, taken at sunset, showing the illuminated Council Chamber which is set to be the centre for the revitalisation and urban renewal of the precinct. Hillbrow residential area and the prominent communications tower and Ponte flats.

Ends. #TownshipNews reporting

For additional information:

For over 20 years, people have been entrusting Ithemba to be their home. Ithemba is the leader for clean, safe and affordable city rental housing in Johannesburg and Pretoria, with 2,700 new apartments launching in January 2020. For more information: www.ithembaproperty.co.za.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Moeketsi Mokoteli

E: moeketsi@flume.co.za

T: (010) 596 1305