This is a guide of the most common mistakes made when renting a property, so you know what not to do in this situation and avoid losing money.
Many people, when searching for their new home, get so excited at the prospect that they make beginners’ mistakes. These are the 10 most common errors made when renting a property:
- Not checking the estate agents’ fees. If you wish for the estate agent to find a property for you, you will probably have to pay for this service; the charge could be either a fixed fee or a percentage of the rent.
- Not checking whether the property is furnished or not. If it is furnished, ensure that there is a signed inventory of the furniture which is to stay in the property.
- Not checking the energy efficiency rating. Homes with a higher rating will cost less to heat.
- Not having (and keeping a signed copy of) a rental contract. Insist on having the rental contract and everything the property includes in writing to avoid any misunderstandings. Also, include terms and conditions of the contract, should you need it later on.
- Not asking for (and keeping a copy of the receipt) for proof of payment of the initial deposit and monthly rent. The deposit is usually equivalent to one or two months rent, and it may not be used to pay the rent. Ideally, it should be held by a third party.
- Not stating in the rental agreement who is responsible for paying the utility bills, community fees, local charges, and making minor repairs to the property.
- Not making an accurate inventory at the beginning and end of your tenancy. It’s a good idea to ask for an inspection a couple of weeks before you move out, because this gives you time to fix any possible damage and regain your deposit as quickly as possible.
- When renting a property with the option of purchase at a later date, not having the property properly surveyed to make sure that everything is 100% legal. Remember to check and negotiate an asking price and check if any rent paid will later be deducted off the asking price. Get everything agreed in writing.
- Not registering your rental contract with the local property register. This way, if the property is repossessed by the bank, the tenant still has the right to occupy the property. Often, the new owner may ask the tenant to leave. However, they do not have to agree, nor are they obliged to accept any financial settlement to encourage them to vacate the property.
- Lastly but most importantly, remember to ALWAYS use an independent lawyer who speaks your language to go over every aspect of the terms and conditions of the rental contract, to make sure that your interests are taken care of.