Published on Monday, 25 June 2012
During your flat-hunting frenzy, while scrolling through the almost never-ending list of offers for a couple of hours, you might bump into an appealing two-bedroom flat at an irresistible price, and before even thinking you are almost ready to click the "let" button, to pack up and move in the home of your dreams. But wait just a minute! Letting a new home is indisputably an emotional time, but it also carries with it some social and financial implications, so keep up a close eye on the setbacks that could turn your tenancy into a nightmare. Before going for a possibly fraudulent offer or getting something totally outrageous, look over the following criteria.
Identify your target location:
If you need to be conveniently to the office, perhaps, you will go for something small, like a one-bedroom flat downtown. A pressing concern, however, may appear to be the limited parking options. If you are an active driver, you must look for a building with a parking space or a garage. On the other hand, a residence in the central part of the city can give you easy access not only to your job but also to plenty bars, restaurants, and shopping centers, where you can spend a good portion of your free time. Not planning on living amidst the ever-bustling quarters of the town? Then the suburbs might have something to offer you; houses split into flats can be an alternative for everyone that considers living with flatmates. The traffic jams and the longer commute are some of the nuisances, or the location of schools and kindergartens for those who are raising kids.
Research your community-to-be:
In general, letting an apartment sounds like a fresh start but be cautious about the community of which you are about to become a member. With any flat, you may also get neighbors with pretty disruptive behaviors that can range from loud music to bad rubbish disposal habits. In this sense, it is highly recommended that you take a look at the community's makeup; you can rely on the grapevine that people are accustomed to spreading for each other. Be aware of the reputation of your new neighborhood, too; settling down in an area considered to be problematic even if the flat is worthy will not justify the trouble you can eventually find yourself in. In addition, lend an ear for the local community etiquette i.e., restrictions about pets, outsiders building access, the cleaning routine, and the terms of payment for charges and duties. You should check these subtle details in order to figure out if you are willing to live with them.
Contract, Deposit, Terms of Payments:
When it comes to the technical part of your rental agreement, be on the alert for any misleading clauses or such that can represent some significant inconvenience for you. Reading carefully through the contract can also save you from undefined clauses, such as, general repair and maintaining works; the contract will most likely contain punitive fees, as well. So pay close attention to the amounts and, if possible, negotiate for less. You'd never go wrong if you send the agreement to your lawyer just for a short look at it. You may not have to arrange the deposit payment in full, especially before signing the agreement; you might be asked to submit a small down-payment prior to moving in, which is a common practice by some professional landlords.
Insisting on an escrow deposit will let you have a good grip on your money in case the agreement fails.