When you show signs of interest in renting a house, landlords expect you to make an instant decision and sign a contract of lease even before you have time to think about it. But do not make haste. You have to consider your rights, as well as responsibilities. Entering a short term tenancy is entering into an agreement of contract. You have to know what your rights and responsibilities are. You have to protect yourself at every stage of the process. No matter how you like a house and want to move in right away, you have to be careful so that you will have no problem in the future with the landlord, with the contract and with the house itself.
Some Guides to Help You Avoid Future Problems in Renting a House
- You have to determine how much rental you can afford to pay. Normally, 35% of the take-home pay is for house rental or mortgage. But this may lessen if you have children to support.
- Decide what kind of neighborhood or community you want to live in. The wider the range of your choices, the more chances you have of finding the right home
- Prepare your documents ahead. Most landlord require conformity of identity, credit history and probably you employment status.
- If the landlord requires a deposit, check if it is protected by a government approved scheme. Some schemes allow the landlord to hold the money and other schemes require that it will be insured.
- Determine the period of tenancy. Most landlords like longer periods of tenancy.
- Check the restrictions imposed by the landlord so you will have no relationship problem with him. Most landlords do not allow pets or too many children.
- Determine who will pay for utility bills, pay for repairs and maintenance of appliances if it is a furnished house.
- Make sure you are renting the house from its owner and not from someone who is subletting it. If it is sublet, make sure the house owner gave his consent.
- Determine who you should call or inform when there are repairs to be made.
- Go around the house with the landlord so that you will know the condition of the house.
- Before signing the lease contract, read it very carefully so that you will know what are your rights and responsibilities and that you are satisfied with the terms and conditions.