Do's and Don'ts
Do visit the neighborhood at various times of the day, night, weekend to make sure that it is safe.
Do check the property thoroughly, a house that looks good in summer may be cold and damp in winter.
- The heating/cooling system - when was it last serviced?
- Do the windows and doors fit securely?
- Are there any cracks in the windows?
Do check gas and electrical appliances. If electric sockets are loose or plugs get warm when used, ask these to be repaired.
Do check the inventory - not only for the number of items in the premises, but also the condition of fixtures and fittings (e.g. badly stained carpet, leg missing from bed, etc.)?
Do seek written confirmation if the property owner makes any promises that are not included in the lease (e.g. “the house will be decorated before commencement of tenancy” or “the faulty heater will be replaced”).
Don't pay any money without obtaining a receipt. Avoid handing over excessively large deposits months before moving in.
Don't pay a deposit without a note stating what the deposit is for (e.g. damage or unpaid bills).
Don't sign an inventory unless it has been checked and agreed.
Don't sign a lease if the landlord says they will fill in the details later.
In order to avoid any disputes with your roommates, make sure that all issues are discussed prior to moving in to your new place of residence. It is advised that you all decide on how things such as bills, overnight guests, and household duties will be handled while living together. Click on the link below for a copy of a roommate agreement form.
As a tenant, you are entitled to receive a written list of existing damages within 15 days of taking occupancy; however, you must request this list from your landlord. When you move in, it is also a good idea to make a written inventory of the condition of the property, its appliances and any other furnishings and have your landlord acknowledge the inventory in writing. This inventory can be used to determine if there are any repairs the landlord must make or any damages that occur during your tenancy for which you will be responsible. Provide your landlord with a copy of the inventory and retain a copy for your records along with a receipt indicating that your landlord has received the inventory. You may wish to take photographs to supplement the written inventory.
When you move out, you should request that your landlord or his/her representative conduct a joint inspection of the property with you. Have records of pre-existing damages available during this inspection. Your landlord has 30 days to notify you in writing of any damages for which you are being charged and 45 days to return your security deposit less any damage assessments. If you have maintained a good relationship with your landlord, you may wish to request a letter of reference. Click on the link below for a copy of a roommate agreement form.