Thinking of moving? When it comes to renting or buying an apartment, caution is the best policy. If you find the apartment of your dreams, or what seems to be the apartment of your dreams, there are a few things you should think twice about before you go to visit it or sign a lease agreement, because it’s the details that will make the difference in the negotiation and acceptance.
The search for the property
In cities where the real estate market (renting and buying) is tight (more seekers than properties), houses and apartments are rented (or sold) in the blink of an eye. If you hesitate too much, you may miss your chance. However, one should not rush and choose a property, which, seen with a magnifying glass, does not suit one.
Pitfalls when renting
Being a tenant can sometimes be a source of stress. Indeed, if the owner is a trickster, several inconveniences can fall on the naive tenant.
If during the interview, several sensitive points such as repairs, renewal of the lease, energy renovation work, or work to bring the property up to standard, are not mentioned. Read carefully, and if possible with a legal friend or a lawyer, the lease contract before signing. It is true that in large cities such as Paris, apartments are often rented out quickly. And it is possible that a house or an apartment will quickly pass you by. But it is still better to be careful. Having the lease agreement read by a legal firm before you sign doesn’t take much more than half a day. It’s better to invest your time in research than to deal with an ill-intentioned landlord.
And finally, even if the pictures on the internet are nice, for a private individual, limited in his means and his legal recourse, it is better to see the state of the premises in person. Work may sometimes be necessary in a house or a residence that seems to be in good condition at first glance.
And finally, whether you are renting or buying an apartment in a residence, it is better to know the monthly common charges. The common care of the residence must be known before signing the contract as well. Indeed, if the co-ownership of the residence has voted for work, repairs or other, before you move in, it is necessary to know if the related fees have been paid, or if these additional expenses are your responsibility.
The rent is certainly an important element for rentals, but the condition of the unit, the monthly common charges, the care and repairs to come, are other factors that must be taken into account.
12 precautions to take when renting an apartment
- The basics
Make sure that the rent you have agreed to is actually stated in the contract, with the start and end date correctly indicated.
Check the address and number of the apartment. Check the date of each month that rent is due. Make sure the security deposit is correct and keep in mind that landlords can only ask for one month’s rent as security.
- Renewal Clauses and Renewal Policies
If your lease has the possibility of being renewed for one or more years, check to see if there is an adjustment clause, which would increase the rent in subsequent years and is usually based on a fixed amount.
- Security Deposits
Make sure that the amount of the security deposit is correctly detailed in the contract. The security deposit is limited to one month’s rent, so you cannot be asked to pay additional rent up front.
If you are requesting an inspection of the apartment for condition before moving in, you must receive a step-by-step survey to identify the condition of the unit and any existing damage.
Not everyone likes pets, and having a dog or cat can be a problem, especially if you plan to purchase one after you move in.
If this is the case, make sure the lease agreement explicitly recognizes this so the landlord doesn’t keep it.
- Furnished apartments
If the apartment is furnished, the lease should also contain a list of all the furniture that will be included and a confirmation that all of these items are in place when the lease begins.
- Don’t rent the first apartment you find
Be as calm as possible, don’t rush, look on websites, real estate, ask your close friends, visit the area where you want to live, you can also find signs referring to the rent, not everyone advertises on the internet for renting a property.
Before renting, it is customary for the landlord to require a guarantee, the most common being
Guarantor: this is the most common form of guarantee, but it is not widely used at present. In the case of a guarantor, a third party assumes the risk, and if the default occurs quickly, the guarantor will assume the financial costs.
Surety: this model of surety is not as well known as the guarantor, in surety insurance the lessor is represented by an insured.
- Conditions of the property
Before renting the apartment, observe its conditions, see if it is in a condition to be inhabited, if everything is in accordance with the standards: electrical installation, sanitary parts, note if there are leaks, infiltrations etc.
- Documented investigation
Before entering the apartment, ask for a documented survey where all the details of the property are listed. The survey is done exhaustively by room with all details, such as doors and windows that have problems opening, cracked floors, etc.
- Lease contract
Do not sign the contract before reading it carefully, in case there are abusive clauses.
The contract should indicate the total duration of the lease, with the start and end date, the value of the apartment should also be implied, address, withdrawal, fees, etc.
- Termination of the lease of the apartment
Sometimes the termination may be disrupted or not by mutual agreement between the tenant and the landlord, which causes a disagreement.
Some abusive rules can be blamed on the tenants, but sometimes the landlord is a trickster.
But the rule being that all bills for the rental period must be paid, the apartment must be delivered in the same conditions as found at the time of entry.
- Rights and duties
No one is supposed to ignore the law. Therefore, it is necessary to know the basis of the law on the rights and duties of tenants.
Therefore, the tenant must read a little more about the rules he must follow and what exactly this law says about his obligations.
Among the obligations of those who rent a property, there is the obligation to keep it in order and to take care of the premises as if it were their property, and to return it in the same conditions as those in which it was received.
In addition, if there is a renunciation before the deadline provided in the contract, the law requires the tenant to pay a fine. Depending on the agreement reached, this fine can be waived by the owner of the property.