Your first experience of renting a home can be quite exciting and stressful at the same time. Since the whole process will be new to you, from packing and moving to handling rental documents, you may feel confused or lost at some point. Since renting a home is a long term plan and involves a considerable amount of money, here is a checklist that might come in handy for first time home renters.
1. Know your budget – Before you start looking for a place to rent, decide on how much can you give away as rent every month. Include the total costs such as your monthly expenses, security deposit before moving in, the rent payment and the maintenance charges (if any). Also if you know the rent amount to be paid, you can decide whether you should seek a roommate to share the expenses or not.
2. Preferred location – While renting a home, every individual would like to stay in a serene locality that is urbanized as well as is close to their workplace. However, choosing a location should be based on your priorities such as proximity to your workplace or an educational institution or any other preferred aspect. Also consider the type of neighbourhood and whether it will blend with your lifestyle or not.
3. The condition of the house – Always check the condition of the house you are renting. You might find your perfect rental home that is quite old but is closer to your office. But consider the amount of maintenance and costs the older property will incur when compared to a new rental home. It is always ideal to go for a newly built property to save yourself from the additional maintenance expenses and other hassles.
4. Get a heads-up from your to-be neighbors – Talking to your to-be neighbours will benefit you in many ways. You can get firsthand information about the area and also get to know about the property’s flaws (if any) that the landlord might not have disclosed to you. This exercise can also help in establishing amiable relations with your to-be neighbours.
6. Do a home check – Not many of us do a thorough check on the property to be rented before moving in. Before you rent the property you should take out some time and check for any damages, the number of doors and windows, the fittings and other specifications. Doing this will also help you in deciding about placing your furniture and other objects. In fact you can also measure certain places. Also check if all the faucets are fully functional with regular water supply. Check for the rate of traffic around, the foliage, noise pollution, car parking areas, safety, and common areas around, and their functionality.
7. Know about the utilities – The excitement of renting your little nest might dodge over one of the most important aspects- asking about the utility services. Before you move in, ensure to ask your landlord about the utilities offered and their bill payments along with the due date. In case the rented property offers you additional utility services that you might never use, talk to the landlord and cut down on your utility bill payments.
8. Understanding your rental type contract – Although renting and leasing a property eventually serves the same purpose, renting is for a shorter period while leasing is usually for a longer period of time. Based on this, a rental or lease agreement should be drafted. The agreement should have details of the property, it’s description, eviction clauses, rent payable amount and due date, maintenance charges, security deposit, special clauses (if any), pet permit policies, penalty for delayed rent payment, maintenance charges, the list of inventory such as electrical appliances, fixtures, plumbing, furniture (if fully furnished) etc. Check carefully for all the mentioned details and ensure that it protects your interest.
In case of a lease agreement, it is important for you to know the rules and regulations about breaking the lease. While breaking a lease, you might have to give an advance notice to the landlord to avoid losing your security deposit. Also in some cases, the landlords charge you for the extra months until they find a new tenant. A lease agreement should also have details about the municipal taxes and society fees and charges.
Important documents to check before renting
- Title documents – They act as evidence that the person renting out/leasing out his/her property is the authorized owner of the property.
- Share Certificates – These certificates are needed if the rented property is co-owned by the co-operative society or by joint owners.
- Utility bills – The person renting a home should check all the utility bills and ensure that they are in the owner’s name.
- No Objection Certificate – An NOC is required to rent/lease homes within an apartment complex.
Points to remember
- Ensure that the name of the owner matches with the name on all the property titles
- Check the term of the rental agreement. It is usually 11 months including the lock-in-period
- Check for the clause for repairs on the property
- Duly sign the rental/lease agreement and get it registered to validate the deal