For first time renters, the excitement that comes with moving out of home can sometimes mean that important details are often overlooked. Before signing a tenancy agreement, it is important to understand exactly what you are agreeing to. Here are some important questions you should ask your prospective landlord or real estate agent before signing your tenancy agreement.
- How long is my lease?
- When my lease expires what are my renewal options? Can I renew for a year or will it then become periodical?
- Under what conditions can the lease be broken? If the lease can be broken what fees are associated with it?
- Are roommates permitted? If so, what is the policy for adding someone to the lease if necessary?
Maintenance / Repairs & Improvements
Landlords have a responsibility to keep the property maintained during your tenancy. However some onus may also be on you. Thus it is important to clarify;
- Who do I contact for maintenance and repair issues? Both urgent and non-urgent?
- What kind of cleaning must be performed if I vacate the property?
- What cosmetic changes can I make to the property if any?
- Who is responsible for maintaining the garden / lawn areas?
- Do I need to pay rent in advance prior to moving in? If so, how much?
- What is the exact security deposit / bond amount I need to pay?
- When will the rent be due?
- What payment methods are accepted? Direct debit? Credit card?
- Under what conditions will I be denied my bond refund?
- Can rent be paid individually by tenants sharing the property?
Other Important Things You Need To Know About the Property
- Is parking included in the rental fee or is a permit required?
- Does the property use gas or electricity for heating, cooking etc?
- Does the property have air conditioning?
- Is there appropriate phone reception in the property?
- Can cable be connected?
- Are guests allowed?
- Are pets allowed? If so, does this affect my rent or security deposit / bond?
- Does the rental price include utilities? If so, which ones i.e. water, electricity and gas?
- What appliances and/or furniture, if any, are included in the rental fees?
- Are there smoke detectors in the property and do they work?
Our Top Tip: Ensure that all which was discussed and promised by your landlord or agent is given to you in writing so you have something to refer back to.