Ten Top Tips for Tenants
1. Be aware that according to South African Law, it is illegal to discriminate against anyone on the basis of their race, gender or disability.
2. A written lease must be signed and copies given to both parties (Lessor and Lessee).
3. Make sure a defects list is drawn up and if necessary, photos are taken as proof to ensure that these defects are not used as grounds to recoup deposit money at the end of the lease term.
4. In many areas, rental demand is extremely high at present. If you like a place, submit your application soonest to avoid missing out.
5. Read the lease agreement together with landlord or letting agent and ensure all clauses and fine print are clear and understood by all.
6. Any faults in the apartment should be reported immediately and preferably in writing. An email history with your point of contact should be kept to refer back to if need be.
7. A bad credit record can mean you missing out on an awesome property down the line. Remember, if you do not pay your accounts and go into arrears and default or receive a judgement, this would be picked up by any checks with relevant credit bureaus. A Lessor is more likely to accept an application from someone with impeccable credit history over someone with defaults etc.
8. Make sure you understand ALL costs involved, not just the monthly rental. E.g Monthly rental sometimes does not include electricity as there is a prepaid box in place.
9. If renting a fully furnished apartment, go through the inventory list and check that every item is in working order and accounted for.
10. Lastly, keep a good, open relationship with your landlord/letting agent and ensure you get your deposit back at the end of your lease.
Author: Cesar Alexandre