If you plan to rent privately from a landlord, then it is important that you understand their rights and responsibilities as well as your own. So, here are a few things to consider before leasing a property from a landlord.
You need to read the contract in detail – line by line. It may seem long and boring, but you absolutely need to know what’s in it. And even if it was the landlord that set up the contract, don’t assume everything is alright. Check the start date, end date, rent, lease terms and any other special terms that you have negotiated for.
Above all, be sure that you know what you’re required to do under the terms of the lease. For example, what are the legal responsibilities of the landlord? Can you terminate the lease? Is the property fit for human habitation? What fixtures and fittings are included with property? Is the property furnished or unfurnished? Are the bills included?
Simply because you’ve been handed a lease to sign doesn’t mean it’s a done deal. The contract is still open for negotiations and adjustments. And nothing is agreed and concluded until the concerned parties sign the lease.
Make a list of all the provisions that you do not like when reading the lease. Send that list to your prospective landlord. It may surprise you how concessions they’re willing to make.
Check if you can have a sublessee
Under your lease terms, a sublessee is another business or tenant that works within your lease space. You pay the lease, and the other party pays you a part of the expenses.
Many lease contracts clearly state the lessee cannot take on a sublessee, but you want to consider splitting costs down the road with someone. However, this is still one area you can negotiate with the landlord before entering the lease if, at some future point in time, you think it might make business sense to take on a sublessee.
These days, several contracts contain settlement clauses. Such provisions specify that all sides agree to settle disputes by arbitration rather than in a court trial.
Study the lease documents to figure out if the arbitration clause is compulsory. And make sure you have the right to participate in the selection of the arbitrator and other arbitration decisions if it’s agreed to.
Double-check the little details
It is important that you check the little details about you ease that you may not have originally thought about. For example, are you allow to have pets in the rental property? Are you allowed to smoke? Is redecorating the interior allowed? Will you be able to do ant gardening or to have garden furniture?
Take all of these points into considering when you are considering leasing from a private landlord. Any one of these points could make or break for your decisions on whether or not to lease for that property.