Renting a home is a crucial decision that involves a lot of deliberation. The process can be taxing and sometimes people end up committing errors that can cost them their time, effort and money. Well, there are certain mistakes to avoid when renting a house to take the right start as a tenant. Remember, research and preparation can go a long way.
5 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Renting a House
Here are some common errors that should be avoided out of a long list of mistakes tenants make while renting a property in order to make the best use of the available resources, whether you are interested in a rental apartment or a house.
- Signing a rental contract without reading it
- Ignoring the surroundings
- Renting a home without seeing the unit
- Forgetting to take pictures the moment you move in
- Keeping your landlord uninformed about maintenance issues
1. Signing a Rental Contract without Reading It
Regardless of how careful you are, mistakes can occur. While buying a home involves a lot more money and paperwork than renting one, both processes can be equally challenging.
Signing a rental contract is actually the trickiest part. Most people don’t cherish reading, especially official documents while renting a property, and that’s where most people err. In major cities of Pakistan like Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, annual rental contracts are signed between the house owner and the tenant.
Although a widely-known fact, not many people realize the importance of a rental contract. It just isn’t a legal agreement between a renter and a homeowner, it also has almost all tenancy rules and regulations for a certain property. Therefore, reading the contract thoroughly is absolutely essential. Don’t give in to procrastination and sign something you might regret later.
There is a long list of mistakes tenants make and ignoring to read tenancy agreements is one of them. Rental contracts usually last for a year, however, the duration can be negotiated with the owner in some cases.
Pro-tip: Always scan documents or simply take photos with your camera. But make sure to keep soft copies of these contracts.
2. Ignoring the Surroundings
You might be in an urgency to get the rental home booked before someone else gets to it, but don’t be hasty. Never overlook the neighbourhood you’re moving into. Knowing that you are living in a secure and calm environment is of utmost importance. So, don’t skip this step, regardless of how ideal your prospective abode might appear.
Keep visiting the place at different times of the day to ensure your chosen property for rent has a neighbourhood that enjoys peaceful afternoons and pleasant evenings.
Moreover, while checking the surroundings always check for the nearest markets, schools, amenities and recreational activities for families. Again, do not rush into an agreement. Bad neighbours or neighbourhood can be a difficult situation.
Pro-tip: Make sure to meet one of your neighbours and ask about their experience. It’s a good way of finding more information as well as breaking the ice. Two birds with one stone.
3. Renting a Home without Seeing the Unit
One of the gravest mistakes to avoid when renting a house is getting the deal done without personally visiting the unit. You have to put in some extra effort if you really want to rent a living space suiting your preferences.
If you find anything that doesn’t match the description of the house, ask about it from the landlord or the real estate agent involved. It is also one of the most useful tips for renting a house. However, here are some more important things to inspect before you move into your new rental home.
In case of apartments, try visiting people living next door on the same floor and ask them questions regarding the previous occupants, maintenance issues and other matters like electricity and water supply, the shortage of which, can be extremely bothersome for people living in the building.
Pro-tip: Check your new rental home as if you are a part of a property inspection team. There’s nothing wrong with it. After all, you will end up investing money in the endeavour. Don’t be lax.
4. Forgetting To Take Pictures the Moment You Move In
Security deposit can lead to severe quarrels between homeowners and tenants. The money that is submitted as a deposit for a particular rental property can be used by landlords to cover the cost of fixings and repairs, if there are any, once the renters move out.
You have to be both mentally and practically prepared for such kinds of disputes. Forgetting to document the condition of property at the time you move in is one of the most common mistakes to avoid when renting a house.
One of the most important tips for renting a house should be kept in mind is that the moment you see any problem in your newly rented property, notify your landlord about it. Immediately. Make sure to get it fixed right away so that it won’t get worse with time, causing you a bigger trouble.
Pro-tip: Try taking plenty of pictures of each and every corner of your new rental property as soon as you move in.
5. Keeping Your Landlord Uninformed About Maintenance Issues
Take it as the continuation of the above point. Your job doesn’t end at inspecting and document things about your newly occupied house or apartment and communicating them to the homeowner.
Always remember, if you are not timely informing your landlord about the maintenance issue you are facing while living in a rental home, then you can get yourself into a serious problem. Even small fixes like plumbing leaks and damaged electric sockets can lead to disastrous results.
You can also try getting a particular maintenance issue fixed right away by calling up a plumber or electrician yourself and deduct the charged amount for the fixes. However, don’t forget to show photos and receipts of the repairs as proof, if you are questioned by the landlord.
Pro-tip: If your homeowner can make it to your unit, then that can help you explain the issue at hand in a better way. Just phoning or messaging them might not be enough.
All of these points are the most common mistakes that people commit when renting a residential unit. By avoiding these blunders, you can make the procedure of moving into a new rental home smoother and safer. And when you have plans to relocate, don’t forget to check the properties available for rent in your desired city by visiting Zameen.com.
However, if you are making your first property investment, then here is a comprehensive guide for you about the mistakes that first time homebuyers make and how to avoid them. To read more about our property pieces, visit Zameen Blog, one of the most trending property and lifestyle blogs in Pakistan.