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Renting a home or apartment can be exciting as it is a sign of freedom. But when signing a legal document like rental agreement, it should be done only after weighing the pros and cons.
Most of us think of a rental agreement as a short arrangement and neglect certain provisions that affect our relationship with the landlord. However, it is mandatory to understand the meaning and content of a rental agreement before signing the dotted line.
You must consider these six crucial points before signing a rental agreement.But most importantly, What is a rental agreement, and what does it include?
The rental agreement is a legally binding document that declares the terms and conditions under which a property is rented by the landowner to the tenant. The contract constitutes the rights and duties of the parties to the agreement. Only when the contract is duly signed by both parties in the presence of a witness, it is considered valid.
A rental agreement contains the name, address, and age of the tenant and landlord. It includes the terms and conditions for renting the property. The agreement also defines the relationship between both the signing parties, mentioning the tenure and amount to be paid as rent. The agreement also includes clauses on termination, renewal, sub – lent, the increment of rent, and security deposit. However, proper care must be taken before you sign a Rental Agreement.
Six important points to check before signing a rental agreement
- Rent to Be Paid
The first important clause to check in a rental agreement is the amount to be paid as the rent, security deposit, increment, and tenure. Usually, the rental agreement is valid for 11 months and includes an increment of 10 percent in subsequent years. Also, the agreement must mention what will happen to the security deposit or how this amount will be adjusted at the time of vacating the property.
Additionally, the document should include the terms of termination, notice period, if any, and mode of payment to avoid any misunderstanding between the landlord and tenant.
- Penalty and other Fees
The next important condition to check in a rental agreement before signing it is a penalty for delayed payment of rent. Check a rental agreement to see if any penalty for delayed payment of rent is mentioned. The agreement must state the date by which the rent amount needs to be paid to the landlord and the charges levied by the landlord for any delayed payment.
Depending on the property you rent, a tenant may be charged for other facilities like pool, gym, parking, club, etc. Ensure all these charges are mentioned in the rental agreement before signing it.
- Conditions for Renting a Property
Sometimes the landlord would want to lay down certain conditions for renting a property, in addition to the society or apartment guidelines. Go through the rental agreement and identify the rules that you can abide with and that need to be modified. Some of the conditions included in the rental agreement may include a restriction on allowing pets, staying out late hours, throwing parties, or subletting the property.
Also, check if you are renting the property from the landlord. Ask for title deeds of the property to be sure that the person from whom you are renting has the authority to do so.
- Condition of the Property
The fourth important clause you need to check before signing a rental agreement is the condition of the property you want to rent. It is of utmost importance that you, as a tenant, need to visit the property you want to rent before signing the agreement. Check the working condition of the rental property, pay attention to details. Check if all the facilities are working properly form gas, water, electricity, plumbing, floor, electrical appliances, painting, fixtures, switchboards, wiring, and furniture. Most of the tenants visit the property in the day time, which is not the correct practice. Check out the property you want to rent and the neighborhood, especially in the night where you will be living in the future.
Please note that any damages or poor condition of these facilities and bring this to the notice of the landlord to avoid being held liable to pay for it after moving in. Ask the landlord to repair the faulty facilities before moving in.
- Responsibility of the Landlord
The next important clause that you need to ensure a rental agreement is the responsibility of the landlord. The rental agreement must include who will pay for regular maintenance of the house like whitewashing, painting, and other wear and tear. Check the agreement to see who will be responsible for paying for any accidental damages caused to the property due to natural calamities or unforeseen activities like fire etc.
Make sure the rental agreement states who will pay for maintenance and repair of the house also whether the landlord will refurbish the amount paid for the damages or pay it directly.
- Roommates- Can You Have Them?
The final point to check before signing a rental agreement is whether or not you can have a roommate. Most of the time, the rental agreement mentions who and for what duration tenants can live in the property. In maybe a common practice among students and working professionals to live with roommates in a rented property, but this can be done only with the approval of the landlord. Hence, it is necessary to find out the rules that are specified in the agreement about living with a roommate or subletting.
The rental agreement is a legal document, so it has to be in writing. As a tenant or landlord, do not be under the assumption that certain providers will be implied even though not mentioned in the agreement. Remember, if the terms and conditions are not mentioned in the rental agreement, then they cannot be enforced in the court of law, so ensure to have them mentioned in the agreement.
Most of the rental documents work out just fine, but do not assume that such provisions do not matter.
For a peaceful stay and proper termination of the rent, ensure first to understand the important things or clauses to be included in the agreement before signing it.
Jessica, a writer by calling and an academic, has created scintillating and remarkable content for dozens of websites in the purview of the Business Sector. She has a fair understanding of the inner workings of several business establishments, making her the foremost expert in this field.