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13 must-have items when renting a room or granny flat

Liezl Hesketh in Renters 

13 things

Survival kit for renters

So, you’ve decided to take the leap and leave the nest. You’ve found the perfect room or flat to rent and can’t wait to move in. Stop! Before you wave Mom and Dad goodbye to start a new life on your own, there are a few things that you must know. Whether you’re a soon-to-be-student or newly graduate waiting to face the world, the following list of 13 items MUST accompany you to your new home:

13 Essential items for every renter

  1. Contract. Before moving in it is of utmost importance that there is a written rental agreement between you and your landlord. Be sure to read the contract carefully before signing it and always keep a copy in a safe place. It’s also a good idea to scan a copy and keep it electronically in the cloud.
  2. Broom and dust pan. Most renters move out and new renters move in over month end. Previous renters don’t really care about the state of the accommodation that they’re leaving – they are too focused on getting settled in at the next place. If you don’t have or can’t afford a vacuum cleaner, at least make sure that you have broom and dust pan ready to clean your new home. A bucket and mop will also come in handy and ensure that your room is sparkling by the end of the day.
  3. Bug spray. You know what you have but you don’t know what you’re getting. Having a gecko at home in your room that you loving called ‘Zeus’ is one thing, but watching someone else’s cockroaches cleaning up the last crumbs in the cupboard is another. Get the largest can you can find and start spraying!
  4. Bottle and can opener. Once you’ve moved in you’ll definitely want to host your first housewarming! Having a bottle opener will always come in handy and anyone who has tried to open a can with a knife, scissors or even a hammer will tell you that a can opener is a must.
  5. Candles or flashlight. We live in uncertain times where electricity is concerned. Until load shedding is a thing of the past, always have a candle and matches or a flashlight at hand. Remember that batteries have a tendency to go flat after a while, even if you don’t use them, so keep a pack of spare batteries close by.
  6. Plunger. Need we say more?
  7. Basic tool set. Whether you’re a guy or gal, you’re going to have to change a plug, fix a light bulb or hang a poster at some point in your renter’s life. Be sure to have a screwdriver, hammer, pliers and some screws and nails ready for these memorable events.
  8. Extra light bulbs. Trust Murphy’s Law that you’re going to have to change a light bulb, at night, within the first 6 months. As soon as you’ve moved in, check what type of light bulb you’re going to need (bayonet or screw-in) and try to stock up on an energy saving alternative.
  9. Iron and ironing board. It is generally frowned upon to walk around looking like you’ve just stepped out of a laundry basket. Get a decent iron to ensure that you always look like a million dollars and remember that ironing on your bed or plastic dining room table isn’t advisable either, so invest in an ironing board as well.
  10. Curtains. You don’t want to get dressed inside the closet all the time, nor does the world wants to share in your weird and wonderful housekeeping ways. Curtains are wonderful at warming up a room and giving you some form of privacy.
  11. Scatter cushions. Whether you have a couch, plastic chairs or no chairs at all, scatter cushions are great at adding style to your home, covering up an ugly stain or giving you something soft to sit on.
  12. 1 plant. Having another form of life in your home can be very comforting. Not to mention the fact that your dateability score will drastically improve if you can take care of a plant (even if it’s a cactus, Gents!).
  13. Microwave. Besides what you’ve seen on Ratatouille, not everyone can cook. Having a microwave broadens your choice of meals, even if it’s just warming TV dinners.

If you’re looking for a new place to stay, visit to day and register a renter profile.