When scouting for a rented property, there are certain things within your control. Here are some basic guidelines to follow when renting a house. Rental laws again differ from state to state and hence, these guidelines are restricted to some general laws.
The verification of these documents is critical, though commercial establishments that take office premises have a legal team to handle the formalities, lone individual in search of a comfy apartment does not often realise the significance of such things nor do they actually get a chance to verify these details.
This is proof that the person renting or leasing out the premises is the actual owner of the place.
The place rented out is part of a co-operative society or colony, share certificates also need to checked.
It is generally in the owner’s name.
This is done by a qualified architect.
This is a certificate that specifies conditions for rent/lease, some do not allow bachelors and may have other forms of bias that is defined in the document.
There are several aspects in the lease agreement that you need to be careful about. However, three most significant aspects gain priority over the rest. These include the license period, the consistency of the license fee through the entire license period, and clarity on costs associated with the house such as municipal taxes, society fees, and charges etc. The owner is expected to bear such
costs, conventionally. There should be definitive clause regarding any deposits given initially prior to renting the house. The legal agreement should clearly state the refund of such deposits when the lease is terminated. This also includes any deposits towards electricity bills, telephone bills etc. Clauses defining what happens if this expectation is not met also needs to be in place. Usually, security deposits that are not refunded within seven days of the expiry of the lease are liable to be refunded with interest for each day’s delay.
Care needs to be taken to ensure the landlord does not indiscriminately retain funds from the deposit for supposed damage to the premises etc.
Ensure either the owner or a person who is the authorised signatory for the owner, signs the agreement for it to be valid.
Make sure the lease agreement includes all fixtures and furnishings with an cost estimate of the same also specified.
This needs careful scrutiny by the person who rents the place. There should not be any malfunctioning or leakages of the plumbing systems and maintenance costs for the same should be included. These issues have to be discussed upfront before the agreement is made out, which gives either party to opt out if a common ground is impossible to attain.
Some last words
The usual term of the lease agreement is around 11 months with a notice of atleast two months for either party to terminate the agreement. Notice clause is a must. The lease can be renewed every 11 months based on mutual consent.
Also, there should be a clause that allows you to retain possession of the house rent till there are any dues that the landlord owes including deposit refunds are cleared.
Be clear about any clauses that denote the breach of contract and see you are well protected. The tenant should also be covered under any circumstance where a sale, mortgage, transfer etc. of the apartment takes place. Here the notice period can be the saving factor, to help you make alternate arrangements.
As a tenant, you should be protected against natural calamity hassles. If you have to relocate due to one, you should not be paying rent for a place you cannot dwell in further.
Also, make sure there are other amenities like car parking, general maintenance etc.