As a Tenant…
Whether you are a longtime renter, a short-term renter or a young person renting your first apartment, some essential tips can help you avoid some of the potential pitfalls of renting.
It is time to become an expert on the local rental market: check the neighborhood, visit several places before choosing one, compare prices.
Once you have found the perfect place, be ready to move fast. Good rentals are often snapped up, so move quickly with your offer. Yet stick to your budget. In order to increase your chances to be accepted by the landlord, we recommend you to:
- Make a first favorable impression: Landlords are more likely to want a tenant that is professional, prompt and polite. Look presentable on the day of showing and always be on time.
- Be ready to provide references from previous landlords and other rental mates you lived with, details about your education, your job and salary, relevant contact details. Be honest about pets, salary and other housemates.
- Try to highlight all the things that make you the most attractive tenant, which demonstrates your reliability, honesty and responsibility. The owner has to be assured that you will look after his property and will pay the rent on time.
- Choosing a property for rent is a very personal decision. Inspect the property in terms of security, storage, cleanliness, cooling or heating systems available, space constraints if you need to bring in some personal items of furniture or electronics, laundry area, gas versus electricity preferences, parking spaces, pets allowance, etc.
Check out the contract for restrictions, discriminative or illegal clauses. Before signing the lease contract, make sure you understand all its provisions, negotiate if you think it is overpriced, and change accordingly all the copies of the contract.
Always keep in mind that deposits are refundable except compensation for unpaid rent, damages or unpaid utilities invoiced after you move out. That is why we recommend you to do a walk-through with the landlord before you move in and document any damage that you see, both in writing and via photographs.
Specify in writing when and how the landlord can enter the location (e.g. in case of emergency, when repairs are needed, or during showings to potential future tenants or buyers).
Although the landlord’s first obligation is to maintain the property, we recommend asking if you want to bring your pet. Landlords who allow pets find themselves at a competitive advantage. They may be willing to accept pets if you pay extra and take some additional measures to reduce potential damages.
If the landlord needs to come in for repairs or to periodically inspect the property, he should ask and give notice before entering. Check the tenancy agreement for specific clauses in this regard as to what ‘reasonable’ or ‘suitable times’ mean, in order to protect your privacy.
It is understood that you will have to return the property in the same condition as you received it, so if you plan to redecorate, it is recommended to have landlord’s permission in writing. The property is not yours and no permanent changes are permitted unless specified in writing from the outset.
Contact us if you would like us to recommend you other steps and to assist and navigate you through the tenancy process!