If You're Looking To Rent
I don't do property management. However, here are three tips to consider if you are thinking about renting:
Is Renting The Best Option For You?
The Own vs. Rent debate is never ending. To be honest, there isn't a right answer because each person's situation can be different. Before you rent (or even buy), it's important you fully analyze your life to see what option is best for you.
If you decide to rent, it's important you understand that you are rent is paying someone's mortgage.
Don't Get Scammed
When it comes to rentals, most property managers and landlords advertise on Craigslist. When it comes to Craigslist, there can be a lot of scams (fake rentals). On the rental posting, there should be property address, a company name, and or a person of a contact.
If the property is being advertised by a real estate company, it would be wise to research if the real estate company/leasing agent is legitimate. One way to do this is to use Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Real Estate Branch website.
If the property is being advertised by a landlord/owner, you can verify the owners name by checking the City and County of Honolulu tax website.
Here's a Hawaii News Now article about rental scams in Hawaii.
Do Your Research
Did you know the Honolulu Board of Realtors has a free rental search. The information you find on HiCentral is the same information Realtors see on the MLS. By using a more reliable source, you'll be able to research what the rental market is like.
For example, a friend sent me a rental listing. It was a 2-bed, 2-bath high rise condo in Honolulu renting for a little over $1,000/month. This didn't seem right to me so I checked the MLS. Per the MLS, comparable rental units in this condo rented for well over $3,000/month.
Secondly, another thing you should research is Hawaii's landlord-tenant code. Don't take anything for granted. It's important that you have a basic understanding of your rights. Keep in mind that each state has it's own laws pertaining to the landlord-tenant code.