If you are looking for a vacation rental or maybe a rental while you search for properties these are some helpful links. In my experience, the hardest part about finding rentals is that you never know where owners are going to advertise. When people sell homes they use an agent who adds it to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and that sends data to several websites. For rentals you need to check every individual site because most landlords and property managers don't advertise rentals on every site, they may only use one or two. Keep in mind that while a lot of states Real Estate Agents help renters find properties, in Hawaii Real Estate Agents do not make a commission from helping renters. Real Estate Agents in Hawaii only make a commission on buying or selling properties so they can certainly help you find a place but you will need to do the majority of the leg work.
I highly recommend that you bring your check book with you and be prepared with a list of references if they ask to verify. Be ready to sign a lease on the spot. On Oahu it's hard to find a great rental and they are probably having multiple showings. Always read the lease document throughly and keep a copy for your records. Be sure to discuss any questions you have up front with your landlord or property manager. Remember, everything is negotiable! Just ask if you'd like a change.
Know Your Exit Strategy
If you're renting just until you find the perfect property to buy, be sure to know how to terminate your lease (i.e. how many days notice do you need to give, etc.). Also, clarify how you will get your security deposit back and what will be the process. For example, will you have a walk-through with the landlord to determine damage. I recommend doing an initial walk-through with your landlord and have any existing damage documented up front. You may want to take video and/or pictures to also document the condition of the property. In Hawaii, landlords can collect up to the same amount as your monthly rent. Plus they can collect a pet deposit if necessary.
Good luck on your rental property search!
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