Our residential estate environments provide some of the very best options for rentals, due to the security and lifestyle offerings. Here are some of the top 10 things to consider before signing your Lease Agreement.
Before embarking on a new Agreement, make sure that you have all the information you need.
1. Understand the HOA Rules and Regulations
As a tenant, it is your responsibility to adhere to all rules and regulations, as if you were the owner of the property yourself. Make sure your lease agreement includes this information. Read the entire Lease Agreement, and make sure it has all the details in it. This is of utmost importance to, avoid any surprises later on. You and your landlord will then be in a clear understanding about everything that you had discussed verbally, and there will be clarity around each party’s responsibilities.
2. Have all aspects of your terms in writing
This avoids any nasty surprises and keeps you and the landlord, managing body corporate or Homeowners Association or managing agents in good relations and ensures complete understanding of responsibilities on all aspects.
3. Find out what changes you can make
Be clear on what alterations can be made to the property during your stay. These include; what your landlord’s policy is on making extra keys, hanging artwork,painting, changing the light bulbs and so forth. It is better to know this information from the outset, so that you can work around what your landlord does or doesn’t allow. Rather know the rules upfront, than do an alteration and find out that your landlord is unhappy with it afterwards.
4. Investigate the landlord
Do some research into the landlord to make sure that they are the rightful owners of the property. Consider what will happen if things go wrong and ask the landlord pertinent questions about what they would do in these situations. Take note of the landlord’s response to any queries you have about repairs on the property – this response will show a lot about how the landlord will react to a difficult situation in the future.
5. Check the parking
Be clear on where you can park and and your allocated visitor’s parking.
6. Visit the property again
It’s a good idea to visit the property at a different day and a different time. This will give you a better feel for what the property is like during the day and at night, as well as during the week and on the weekend. Things like weekend events, golf tournaments, the club house availability make a difference to your stay.
7. Check all appliances and fixtures
Don’t assume that everything works. During your first viewing, go through the house and turn on taps, flush toilets, switch on the oven and any other appliances that are part of the deal, to make sure that everything is in working order. Take note of anything that isn’t working and bring up any concerns to the landlord at the time, creating a snag-list is of utmost importance, so that all can either be repaired before you move in, or that you are not liable for any ‘damages’ relevant to the snag-list, when you move out.
8. Document the property’s condition
Take a few walks through the property and make sure every bit of damage (big or small) is documented in a snag list. You and your landlord should both sign this, in acknowledgement that these issues were there before you moved in and that they are not your responsibility to fix.
9. Find out about roommates and house sitters
If you think you may want a roommate at some point, check with your landlord what their rules would be about getting one. If you’re away a lot, you may want someone to stay on the property while you’re gone. Make sure your landlords approve of this and are aware of any people that you may have staying in your home while you’re not there. What are the sub-letting rules and are there rules about the use of AirBnb for the property, as a non-owner.
10. Understand the termination policy
Make sure that you’re familiar with the termination policy of your lease so that you know exactly what is required to get out of the lease early. Check for things like how many months’ notice you need to give, whether there any reductions to your deposit and what the cleaning requirements are.
Make sure to double check your lease agreement and consult your landlord with any changes you may have, before you sign. Once you’ve considered these steps, you should be ready to sign a lease agreement and you’re likely to avoid any nasty surprises down the line.