You may be a first-time tenant, young professional moving closer to work or even downsizing. Regardless of the reason why you are renting, there is a process that will follow for each tenant. Below we have set that process out for you in easy-to-follow and understand steps to help you navigate rentals easily.
The rental industry is fast-paced and brutal. In a nutshell, know what you want, know when you see it and grab it immediately by being prepared.
It may seem daunting, but with clear steps you can easily navigate this process and settle into your perfect rental home in no time.
Here are the steps you will take toward homely bliss:
We already have an article on house-hunting in the rental market which you can find here. In short:
Would you go to the shop with R10 to buy a R15 bread? Why would you even start looking for a place to rent without knowing what you can afford? Generally you should set aside one third of your net income for rent. Also remember that a good credit record is vital! Do you have a store account or contract for a cell phone? Be sure to pay it on time every month so as not to adversely affect your credit score. Most credit bureaus allow one free credit report per year. Check your credit report and rectify any negative items.
Knowing your credit score and affordability is only the first step in qualifying for a rental. There is also an application process in order to succeed.
Have your deposit ready before you even start looking for a place. Deposits can reasonably vary between one- and two-months’ rent and are payable upfront. 2LetNow requests a non-refundable R2 500 holding deposit that forms part of the total deposit. If you should cause any damage to the property during your lease, the landlord will deduct the money from your deposit to pay for these repairs. The balance of the deposit may then be returned to you within 14 business days of the repairs being completed.
It is important to note that if you as tenant do not attend the outgoing inspection, legally the landlord or agent has up to 21 days before they have to return your deposit. When the lease agreement comes to an end and there are no problems with the property then your deposit should be returned to you within 14 business days of the end of the lease.
A gentleman’s agreement won’t help you if the situation gets sticky. A lease agreement is a legally binding contract between the tenant and landlord setting out the rules for various aspects from rent to maintenance obligations.
It is important for both the tenant and the landlord or agent to do an entry inspection. It is also a legal requirement. Through this you can establish, record and agree upon the condition of the property in order to ensure that you are not held responsible for any damage that may have occurred before you moved in. Routine inspections should follow during the course of your lease.
If you do not attend the incoming or outgoing inspection you can’t contest repair fees deducted from your deposit. Similarly, if the landlord or agent doesn’t attend these inspections they cannot deduct repair expenses from your deposit. Both parties must do a thorough inspection together, noting all defects on a checklist, taking photographic evidence and signing this document.
Rent is paid in advance to your landlord or agent. This is a legal requirement, made binding by signing the lease. The rental housing act has processes in place for landlords if the tenant does not pay on time each month. You cannot withhold rent when you are unhappy with the landlord. This is seen as a breach of contract.
2LetNow2LetNow Home has highly skilled staff at all our developments who can assist you with the entire rental process. For more information on the ins and outs of rental life, be sure to follow us on Facebook to receive regular blog updates.