Do you want to rent an apartment, but don’t quite realize how to protect yourself from possible problems and scams? Below we have prepared practical tips that will undoubtedly help you.
Advertisement vs. reality
Finding the perfect apartment is not as easy as everyone might think. Sometimes you have to browse through hundreds of ads on various portals to come across one that meets your expectations. Once you do, you need to carefully verify the information contained in the ad. For example, “green neighborhood” may have nothing to do with a park and trees, but rather with a few bushes not far from the staircase, “10 minutes walk from the center” may be true if someone is a professional runner or moves around on a bicycle, and “cozy bedroom” is actually a very small room.
Importantly, you don’t have to give up on this offer at all right away. If certain elements are colored, but somehow do not bother you very much, negotiate with the landlord. You may be able to reduce the rental price.
Before signing the contract – ask for the property deed or a copy of the land register
Before you even sign the contract, ask to see a document that will allow you to verify that the landlord owns this apartment. This can be a title deed or a copy of the land register. It can also be its number, which you will then verify on the Internet. If you hear a refusal, let a warning light come on. You may also hear that the apartment belongs to your uncle – if so, ask to see a written power of attorney and then have the title deed available at a later date. You need to be 100% sure with whom you are signing the lease. It’s also a good idea to talk to your neighbors, inquire about previous tenants and walk around the block to get to know the neighborhood a bit.
Agree on the terms of the lease – payments, terms, termination.
Moving on to the formalities, you need to carefully establish all the rules of renting an apartment. This, of course, is about the deposit, the rent (what it includes, what you have to pay extra), the due date, any repairs, the rental period and the termination period. If you make payments in cash, it is essential to get an appropriate receipt each time with the signature of the person collecting the money. For this, agree on the possibility of any changes – hanging a mirror, a painting or repainting the walls.
Before signing the contract, read it carefully and make sure that it contains all the conditions agreed beforehand. Be careful: never decide to rent an apartment without a contract!
Draw up a take-over protocol
When you take over the apartment, you should draw up a delivery and acceptance protocol – as an attachment to the contract. What should be included in it? The exact condition of the apartment, i.e. the condition of the walls, floors, doors, windows, furniture and furnishings, the number of sets of keys to the apartment and basement, and possibly the remote controls for the entrance/garage gate. Also write down the electricity and water meter indicators.
Finally, another reminder that it’s a good idea to come to an agreement with the owner about keeping pets in the apartment and receiving and overnight guests. Importantly, the owner has the right to have a second set of keys, but already – by law – he is not allowed to enter the apartment in your absence.
main photo: unsplash.com/Hannah Busing