Renting a House.
Although renting a house or an apartment is not as complicated as buying a home, it’s still important for a renter to have a full understanding of the rental process so that they are prepared for what is likely to be experienced.
The following factors should be considered when looking for a house;
- How much can you afford? The basic guideline is that you should dedicate about 25-30% of your monthly gross income (before taxes) on your monthly rent.
- How long do you plan on staying there?
- Where do you want to live? Renting a home is about becoming part of a community (and a school district, if that’s important), so you need to decide what town or neighborhood you wish to live in.
- What type of home? Most tenants rent a stand alone or apartment unit.
- Do you have any special needs? If you have specific needs for housing, such as bedroom needs, pets, mobility issues, or anything else that might be unusual.
After determining these factors, now the real work begins and you start by viewing different properties.
While there are times when people must rent a property sight-unseen, such as when they are relocating for a new job, it is usually preferable to view the property ahead of time to make sure it satisfies your expectations and requirements. Renters can contact a real estate agent to make an appointment to view the unit.
Attention should be given to the individual unit as well as the overall property. Does the property seem clean, well maintained and in good repair? Are many of the units occupied? Is there a well-lit parking area? Are common areas tidy and well lit.
While it is easy to be in a hurry to sign a lease, it can be beneficial (if at all possible) to take the time to view different properties and find one that meets or exceeds one’s expectations. This is particularly true for renters who expect to remain in the unit for an extended period of time.
Once the renter has decided on a unit, he or she will typically be asked to fill out a rental form. This helps the landlord/agent determine each person’s credibility as a potential renter. The rental application typically includes information regarding the applicant’s
- Name Current address
- Phone numbers Email address
- Employment/ Business Information Sureties contacts
Once the rental form has been submitted, the landlord/agent will prepare a lease agreement. Typically, the tenant must read the Lease very carefully and sign it, then return it to the landlord/agent with the relevant fees as discussed with the agent/landlord in exchange of an official receipt.
A lease is a legal contract between the landlord and tenant(s). Typically, a lease includes basics such as:
- The names of the landlord and tenant(s)
- The starting date and duration or end date of the agreement
- The address of the property being leased
- Options for lease renewal, if any
The lease will also include specific terms for:
- Rent payments, including amounts and due dates -Certain landlord/agents offer tenants the ability to pay rent using paybill ,Mpesa services or directly depositing into bank accounts.
- Security deposits
- Applicable late charges
- Utilities – The lease will specify which utilities the tenants are responsible for paying and which will be covered by the landlord. The tenant often has to apply independently for utilities through the appropriate company to receive electricity, water, internet, etc. The utility company may require a deposit that will be returned once the utility has been turned off if there are no outstanding payments due.
- Right of entry and inspection
- Noise, and any “quiet” hours
- Property maintenance
After signing the lease agreement and making the relevant payments to the offices in exchange of a receipt the tenant can now take possession of the house.