It is important to understand the various pitfalls to avoid when renting a property. Renting is something more people are familiar with than buying. The demand for properties to rent keeps increasing, especially in major city centres.
The mass movement of people from regional areas to city centres in search of a better life, otherwise called urban migration, is one of the major factors putting pressure on housing and other amenities.
The competition for rental properties in many areas can be very intense thus putting pressure on renters. It also makes them vulnerable to unscrupulous real estate agents and property owners.
One of the essential steps to renting a property should be research. A property should be evaluated based on its context. It is not possible to totally detach a property or building from its context. Through research, which could be as simple as asking neighbours or friends who have friends or family members in that area or the adjourning neighbourhoods, could help.
Some people have had the unfortunate experience of renting a brand new property which is located in a crime-ridden region or a flood prone area. These individuals were shocked when the reality of the location suddenly dawned on them.
In your search for a rental property, you will need the services of real estate professionals or estate agents who can assist you in finding the right property.
Although there is now a plethora of options that could be explored such as conducting searches on real estate websites you will still conduct most of such transactions through agents. Unfortunately, due to the low entry barrier, several individuals without the appropriate training and skill are now working in that sector. The unscrupulous ones among them often exhibit certain traits which should serve as a warning signal to you when you come across them.
These agents that we should be wary off often request for the payment of a so-called inspection fees without which they will not disclose their listings or the properties that they would like you to inspect. What they then do after you have made payment is to take the potential tenant to an uncompleted building or a property that they know the person will reject outrightly.
After a few of such inspections they ask for more payments and the cycle continue until they find the right property or the frustrated person departs. They can also demand full payment of rent for an uncompleted building whose alleged owner will complete as soon as possible after your payment. This is how many rental scams are structured and many have lost a lot of money after falling for these schemes.
Most would-be tenants also do not know that they can negotiate a lot of things regarding their tenancies. Except in cases where you are familiar with the rents paid in an area you can negotiate your rental sum with your landlord or landlady. Where the rent is non-negotiable and they ask for bond, you can offer to pay a lesser amount of bond and often this can be accepted. There are times when you can negotiate a few days as a grace period before the actual commencement of your tenancy. You never know what the property owner will concede if you never ask.
It is important to note that in determining what you should pay as rent you should focus more on functionality rather than aesthetics. There are some properties that are unreasonably priced due to a few facilities that you might find cheaper to provide for yourself. Sometimes the amount being charged for minor improvements are out of proportion with the improvement. If those facilities matter to you, then you can proceed to pay but if they are a guise to extract a rent that is out of sync with the area then consider other options.
Once negotiation has been concluded, the landlord’s Solicitor will be asked to draft a tenancy agreement that you will be asked to sign and return. This is a very important document and it should be carefully read to avoid ambiguities, misunderstanding and conflict, especially at the end of the tenancy. This is not a document that you should skim through without understanding its content. For a reasonable fee, you can engage a legal practitioner to help ensure that the document does not contain any onerous terms.You should be confident,as at the time of signing,that you are comfortable with the content.
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