There are so many articles out there about moving into your first home and buying your first property. Everyone has an opinion on what you should and shouldn’t do and they’re more than happy to add their advice to the pile. But what people don’t often talk about is renting.
Sure, you can get all the information you need on tenant rights and obligations, but what about the other things you should know? Well, to help you out, here are a few things you should know when you’re renting.
Take note of everything that’s wrong with the property
When you first move in, go through the property and take careful note of everything that’s broken, damaged or out of place. It’s best if you go through everything with your landlord before you move in or in the first week. However, if you can’t do that, send an email through to them with a detailed account of every issue. You should also take photographs to ensure that you have evidence. Even if you don’t mind the scratches on the wall, it’s important that you note it so that you don’t lose out on your deposit in the end.
Issues your landlord should take care of
If there’s an underlying plumbing issue, that’s your landlord’s problem. If the geyser bursts, that’s your landlord’s problem. If there’s something wrong with your electricity and you’ve paid all the bills, your landlord needs to sort it out. The main benefit of renting is that you don’t have to deal with these issues.
Other important rights and obligations of the landlord are:
- To deliver the property so the lessee can enjoy and use it.
- To refrain from disturbing the lessee’s use and enjoyment of the property.
- To maintain the property in the condition that has been agreed upon.
- To ray the property’s rates and taxes.
- To repair the articles which he is obliged to provide the lessee with.
- A right to inspect the property.
- A right to prompt and regular payment.
- A right to recover unpaid rental.
- A right to terminate the lease on grounds of unfair practice.
- A right to receive the property in a good state of repair on termination of the rental agreement.
- A right to claim compensation for damages to the property.
Issues you need to take care of
If you break a window or damage a wall, you need to fix it. If you spill something and stain the floor, you need to deal with that. The easiest way to figure out whether it’s your problem is to ask yourself: did I do something to cause the damage? If yes, then it’s your fault and therefore you are responsible for fixing it.
Other important rights and obligations of the lessee are:
- A right to privacy on the property.
- A right not to have the property searched.
- A right not to have possessions seized without a court order.
- A duty to pay the rent on time.
- A duty to take care of the property.
- To be responsible for the fair wear and tear repairs of the property.
- A duty not to use the property other than the purpose for which it has been rented.
- A duty to restore the property in the same good order and condition on termination of the lease as it was when it was received.
Make an effort to remain on good terms with your landlord
If your geyser breaks or there’s a problem with the electricity, it’s hard not to be upset. But when dealing with your landlord you should be fair and civil. Try to correspond via email so that you have written proof of every interaction. If they fail to follow up on a problem, it’s important that you continue to bring it to their attention. But try to maintain a good relationship because if things get sour, you may end up needing legal assistance.
When you first move out on your own and start renting, it’s important that you know these things so that you don’t end up losing your deposit or paying to fix things when you shouldn’t have to.