There are many things one must consider before choosing to rent a flat in any apartment building. We, at Apnacomplex, list out the things we think you should keep in mind before renting that flat.
Budget – Always consider your budget carefully before deciding to take up any flat on rent. The things to consider would be; gross rent paid, deposit, maintenance, and upkeep. All those things need to factor into your decision to rent out a flat. Generally, things work up to 1.2x of the gross rent. So assuming your rent to be 10000 per month, you’ll eventually end up paying 12000 per month all things included. Once you know what the rent of your new flat will be, factor in your household income. As a rule of thumb, it is ok to spend 30% of your household income on rent in any given month. Once you have your budget sorted out, looking for a place can be much easier and less time consuming.
Broker Vs. No broker – getting a local broker can be a good way to increase your awareness of apartments in your area of choice. But then there’s the dreaded issue of brokerage, the one thing we never wish to pay (Trust me, I’m regretting paying brokerage as I write this article). Going on online sites can be a healthy start too, but what you see is not always what you get with online real estate listings, so it might take you longer than anticipated when you take that route. The only trait you’ll need is patience and you might just find the right fit searching online. In our experience, some of the best deals are available on classified newspapers and online portals (Please check https://www.apnacomplex.com/classifieds). You’ll be surprised at the deals you find there.
Be specific – If you’re experienced in renting out a place, you’ll probably be aware of these factors more or less, if not, then here’s the stuff that you’ll need to make that house a home.
Check the amount of noise in that area – having religious institutions nearby might be good for your piety but can have a disastrous effect on your sleep schedule.
Check if household services are available in that area – From dry cleaning to housekeepers, there are many areas where these basic services are difficult to come by, so ensure that you’re not making your life more difficult in the future.
Check power outage cycles – some areas are notorious for a number of power cuts that occur there. So make sure your apartment provides for power backup or there are limited power outages there.
Check water limitations – Water is considered the element of life, so maybe having a check on whether your apartment is equipped with rainwater harvesting or has some water facility to meet demand and supply will benefit you. Else you won’t have to option but to literally air your dirty laundry.
Check the contract – Contracts are mandatory if you’re taking a flat on rent legally. Yes, we’re putting it that way because taking a flat legally benefits you more than the landlord. Here is a snapshot of things you need to look out for while taking you flat on rent:
Contract dates – check when your contract starts and ends. Yes, you’ll be surprised at how many people miss this.
Termination clauses – This is the most highlight-able area of your rental contract. Check to see if “My sister wants to come and stay” is a valid reason. Else, you can’t be evicted if you pay your rent on time.
Penalties – Generally most flats have a one month rent as a penalty from their deposit. But make sure you’re aware of that clause in your contract.
Repairs – Most contracts are segregated into major repairs and minor repairs. Major repairs are undertaken by the owner and minor repairs are undertaken by the tenant. So be sure to look out for that.
Guests – Check to see if there’s any limitation on guests allowed. Contracts generally mirror society rules on such issues, so if your society limits guests then it’s better that you’re aware of what needs to be done.
Rent renewal – arguably the most important part of your contract, check on the terms of a renewal. If there’s no renewal clause, push for it to be added in. Assuming you’re not going to move out of the house for the foreseeable future, it’s unjust to randomly have your rent increased on renewal. In our experience, most landlords settle for an annual 5% increase in rent year on year.
Get everything in writing – Most landlords make blanket promises when giving out their house, make sure you get these promises/guarantees in writing, taking someone at their word can be good for relationships but remember, you’re looking for a house, not a friend.
Inspect your flat – A lot of issues with your apartment can be hidden from a simple look. Inspect these things properly before deciding on whether or not to take the place.
Pipes – make sure there are no blockages and the pipes work smoothly.
Electrical fittings – See if the lights and fans work properly. It’s common courtesy for your landlord to provide these. Else, make it clear on who pays to fix it.
Faucets and shower heads – Sometimes these basic fittings don’t work and nobody checks it out before renting out a place and moving in. Be sure to check these facilities in your prospective flat.
Cracked windows or broken walls – If you can live with a cracked window or a broken wall, then it’s still fine. But make sure you keep photos of these issues before taking up a place. Those photos will come in handy when you’re vacating, trust us on this.
Rules and regulations – Although your landlord may be okay with these things, sometimes the housing society can have a lot of issues with some of the things you want. For example, you might not be allowed to keep pets in your house or you might not be allowed to throw a party. These are things that you should ideally check beforehand. It’s wiser if you ask the landlord these things than asking the society directly. (In Mumbai a lot of Societies require you to give an interview before being able to take a house on rent, so additional caution is advised there)
Negotiate – A lot depends on who your landlord is and whether or not they’re ready to negotiate on the price. If it’s a person who owns a lot of property and runs this as a business, you’re going to find it harder to negotiate a better deal for yourself. If it’s an individual that is just looking to supplement their household income, play hardball, you’ll come out on top. Most landlords also practice up-selling their houses, so negotiating could make your deal sweeter than you think.
Check if your apartment society is smart enough – Last but not the least, check if your prospective apartment complex is listed on http://www.apnacomplex.com by searching for it. If it is, then you’ll notice how simpler your life becomes once you live there. If not, then there’s always something you can do about it; like referring the software to you society or searching for a different apartment altogether.