What to know about finding a place to rent in Cape Town

Cape Town is a wonderful city to live in and that’s the problem. Everyone wants to move here so it’s not always easy finding a place to live. Rent is not cheap and you face stiff competition from other hopeful renters.

If you want to move to Cape Town, keep these points in mind so you’re not left out in the cold.

Give yourself two months

If at all possible, try to give yourself a two month window to find accommodation. If you simply show up in Cape Town and hope to find a home within the weekend you are setting yourself up for a sorry state.

In other cities and towns you could probably get away with a one month window to find a place, but with Cape Town you’d better give yourself two months to have enough time to find a place you’re happy with.

You need your paperwork ready

In Cape Town, especially in the CBD, you will face stiff competition from other would-be tenants. Don’t be scared when a dozen people show up to look at one single apartment that isn’t even that great. In fact, it’s the affordable places that will get the most interest.

To give yourself an edge, make sure that you have all your paperwork ready with you when you go look at places. The necessary paperwork is usually mentioned in the rent ads, such as letters of recommendation and proof of employment.

Traffic and parking is an issue

Large chunks of Cape Town weren’t planned with off-street parking in mind. For some people this is an problem, especially if it affects your insurance premiums. Other Capetonians just accept this is the norm and invest in car alarms. In many suburbs of Cape Town, like De Waterkant, Woodstock or Observatory, you will probably only find off-street parking at newly renovated places, and these places will likely be more expensive.

Also, parking in the CBD is always an issue, so keep this in mind if you’re going to work there. Finally, Cape Town traffic is no joke. Johannesburg traffic gets a lot of attention but Cape Town is actually more congested. Keep this in mind when choosing your location. The more you can use public transport the better.

Budget and location goes hand in hand

As with any city, certain areas are more expensive than others. Cape Town has the highest property rates in South Africa so budget is a consideration for almost anyone. If you’re working in the CBD you would ideally want to live there as well, but it is very expensive. A one bedroom bachelor flat will likely cost R10 000 to R12 000. The suburbs are cheaper, but again some of pricier than others.

To conclude, rent is high, competition is fierce, parking and traffic is an issue, and you might not be able to afford to live where you would most like to. That being said, Cape Town is still an amazing place to live and you won’t regret it.