A Step-By-Step Guide To Assist A Tenant Through The Renting Process. 

A Step-By-Step Guide To Assist A Tenant Through The Renting Process. 

Making the best rental decision means knowing the ins and outs of renting a property and who is responsible for what. 

It is always advisable to work with a professional property practitioner. 

  • Their contract contains all the clauses to protect both tenant and landlord. 
  • All money is deposited and distributed through certified accounting packages with proper statements issued monthly to both landlord and tenant. 
  • All deposits are invested in the beneficiary’s name in an interest-bearing account. 
  • They abide by legislation as prescribed by the RHA (Rental Housing Act) 
  • Here is a step-by-step guide to help you remember what to look for when renting a property. 

1. What you need to get started: 

As a potential tenant, there are a few things to consider before you can rent a property: 

  • Can you afford it? Can you afford the rental payment and the deposit, which is usually 2 months’ rent upfront? 
  • Are you creditworthy? A Credit Score is a three-digit number that helps lenders, employers and landlords decide whether to give you credit, employ you or let property to you. 
  • Are you prepared? You will need the following to enter into a lease agreement: 
  1. A copy of your ID. 
  2. Your credit score.
  3. A copy of your latest salary slip/proof of income.
  4. Latest 3-months bank statement.
  5. Sufficient funds are available to pay the deposit (the equivalent of one month’s rent) and the first month’s rent. Rent is always due and payable the month in advance. 

2. Signing the contract 

Weigh the pros and cons of leasing from a landlord versus leasing from an agent. Before you sign any lease agreement, ensure it contains the following information: 

  • The names and addresses of both parties; 
  • The description of the property; 
  • The rental amount and reasonable escalation; 
  • The frequency of rental payments, i.e. monthly; 
  • The amount of the deposit; 
  • The deposit must be invested in your name (the Tenant) in an interest-bearing account; 
  • The lease period; 
  • The notice period for termination of the contract; 
  • The lessor’s obligations; 
  • Any other costs payable by the tenant; 
  • A list of defects; 
  • A list of the furniture included if a furnished property is rented out; 
  • A detailed inventory of all the items, furniture and fittings included as part of the rented property; 
  • Access required by the Landlord during the lease period; 
  • The House Rules, if any.

3. How to deal with the deposit? 

Make sure the following information is part of your lease contract: 

  • What is the exact amount of the deposit? 
  • What happens to my deposit? Where is it deposited? 
  • Is my landlord allowed to withhold my deposit? 
  • What is “fair wear and tear”? 
  • When do I get my deposit back? 
  • How will maintenance issues be addressed during the lease period? 

4. Terminating the lease agreement. 

  • The lease agreement has to set out in detail: 
  • What notice period should I give should I want to terminate my lease? 
  • Do I need to pay anything extra? What costs does the Landlord expect me, the tenant, to pay, i.e.:
  •  Garden services 
  •  Pool services
  •  Alarm
  •  Levy 
  • Can a landlord withhold my deposit? 
  • What happens if my landlord sells the property? 
  • What happens if the landlord does not maintain the property? 

4. The Rental Housing Act 

What happens when problems arise, and what are the landlord and tenant rights. The Rental Housing Tribunal was established to resolve disputes between landlords and tenants, and they deal with issues such as: 

  • Deposits 
  • Non-payment of rental 
  • Exploitative rentals 
  • Condition, use and maintenance 
  • Utility services 
  • Lease agreement disputes (verbal and written) 
  • The rights and duties of landlords and tenants 
  • Damage to property 
  • Eviction 
  • House rules 
  • Intimidation 
  • Issuing of receipts maintenance 

By  Marsha

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