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Factors to consider when renting an apartment

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People on transferable jobs or those who cannot afford the luxury of buying their own apartments will need to rent places to stay – be it an apartment or an independent house or villa.

Some of you might be lucky to get company accommodation, if not; you will be looking for houses to rent. So how does one go about this? You need to consider several factors before you zero in on the right place.

1. Your budget will be your prime consideration

Once you know what you can spend on renting, you can decide what type of housing you can look for – an apartment, a villa or an independent bungalow. You will also be able to decide whether you can go in for a smaller or larger space as well as the locality of the residence.

2. What is your idea of a residence that you want to live in

Proximity to your workplace – If you are alone, this factor is simple to adhere to, but if you have a family and your wife is working, then the equation changes. You would need to find residence which is mid-way to your work areas. This, may, to a large extent be minimized if the company provides you transportation. Then you need to consider the proximity to schools, if you have children.

Access to shopping, medical care and other civic amenities is another area that one should look into. Water supply and garbage disposal are also important factors to consider.

Safety and security in the locality are equally important. These days most housing complexes have their own security guards. Check out if the building is secured by CCTV cameras. Other factors to look into would be the age of the building, whether it has lifts, is parking available within the compound, is the area flood prone, etc.

Armed with this information you need to foray into finding your ideal residence. Make a checklist when you go to inspect a property that you are considering. This helps when you are inspecting multiple properties else you tend to forget when you have to make a decision. Before you finalise any property, ask around and make sure everything is okay, including a report on the landlord.

3. Where should you look for your rental needs

The local newspaper, internet, your friends circle and the real estate agency are potential areas to get information about rental properties. Do not be in a hurry to finalise any property. You should physically search and investigate each property, to see if it meets your needs. You may not always get 100 % of what you have in mind. Once you finalise in your mind about a property, do not be indecisive but go ahead and commit yourself, as otherwise you may lose the apartment.

The next thing to do is to proceed to the legal matters. All rental properties are covered by a legal agreement between the landlord and the tenant. Check the tenancy laws of the State in which the transaction takes place. Generally, the agreement is a leave and license one, having a validity of eleven months. Study the agreement carefully to ensure that there are no loop holes against you. Most landlords will want a deposit upfront. This may be a three-month or 10-month rent.

Before you sign the rental agreement, it would be wise to walk through the apartment and check if any damage is pre-existing, and this should be documented to avoid any future arguments.

Some landlords may want you to pay for painting the apartment when you leave, or they may deduct it from the deposit. Insist on receipts for all payments that you make. On the other hand, the landlord may also need some documents from you, like your identity proof, certificate from your employer, police clearance certificate and the like, especially if you are a bachelor. If you have pets, find out if this is okay as some societies object to keeping pets in the building. Clarify all doubts and document it properly to avoid any confrontation in the future.

Above all, your relationship with the landlord is important for a peaceful living. Build up a cordial relationship with the landlord such that he will help you in times of your need. Be a good neighbor and follow the rules laid down by the housing society. Happy hunting!

Stanley Varghese for IndiaProperty.com

Image: By Photos public domain – http://www.photos-public-domain.com/2012/03/25/for-rent-sign-2/, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18911101

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