It is quite difficult to find a good apartment for long-term rent in large cities. In addition, potential tenants face problems such as scammers or unscrupulous landlords. We tell you how to safely rent an apartment: what documents to check, what to ask the owner, how to recognize scammers, etc.
How to protect yourself when renting an apartment
When renting an apartment, not only the landlord is at risk, but also the prospective tenant, especially if the latter has decided to look for housing by himself, without the help of a realtor. Here are a few tips to help you rent an apartment safely:
- If you haven't been to the apartment viewing, you don't have to pay anything - you can't transfer any advances to your card;
- If you like the apartment, once again clarify the terms of the lease, the amount of rent - this will eliminate misunderstandings;
- Check whether you really have the rightful owner of the apartment - look at his passport, property documents, utility bills (to which name they are written out);
- If more than one person owns the home, ask for their consent or power of attorney;
- If the apartment is rented out by a representative of the landlord, make sure he/she has a notarized power of attorney from the owner;
- Be careful when visiting the apartment - pay attention to the state of repair, plumbing, furniture;
- Talk to your neighbors if you have any doubts - they will share what you may have missed.
A contract will also help protect yourself when renting. This is a basic clause that will prevent such "surprises" as an unreasonable increase in rent, accusations of damage to the property or sudden demands to evict.
What documents to check when renting an apartment
The best way to formalize your relationship with the landlord is to sign a rental agreement with him. Before signing a contract with the landlord, you should check the following documents:
- Documents of title to real estate - certificate of ownership, deed of gift or sale and purchase agreement;
- owner's passport, identification code;
- certificate of registration in the apartment;
- written consent from the other landlords to rent.
These are the documents provided by the owner of the rented apartment. The tenant only has to show his passport or other ID, if this is acceptable to the owner.
When the prospective tenant is convinced that he is the real owner of the apartment, the parties can sign a rental agreement. It can be accompanied by a deed of acceptance of the property. This document is beneficial for everyone. The landlord protects himself from losses due to damage to the property, and the tenant from possible accusations of damage to anything.
How to Recognize Scammers
In the rental housing market, unfortunately, scammers are not uncommon. Especially at risk of falling for them are those who rent property for a long time for the first time, or looking for options on their own, rather than through a real estate agency. It is possible to rent an apartment without being cheated and to recognize scammers, if you know the basic schemes they use.
One option for fraud is information services. Information bureaus may pass themselves off as real estate agencies, although they are not. The essence of the work of such an organization is to provide the client with information. That is all. Assistance in renting the apartment in this case is not provided. An employee of the company will just give the potential tenant the same ads that can be found on the Internet or in the newspaper, and will take a fee for this service.
Another widespread scheme is that scammers rent an apartment for a day or a month, and then rent it to other people for a longer period of time. When a prospective tenant inspects the apartment, the scammers introduce themselves as the owners, take money in advance for 1-3 months, and then disappear. People move in, and after a while the real owner comes to the apartment, who is not aware of the fact that his or her apartment was rented again. That's why it is extremely important to make sure that you have the rightful owner of the apartment in front of you when you view and before you pay.
Scammers often choose migrants, students, and non-conflicted people as their "clients". This makes it possible to pull off the following scheme with them. After signing a rental agreement and handing over money, a "real" owner suddenly arrives at the apartment and harshly demands that everyone present immediately leave the apartment. In such a situation it is important not to be confused and not to just kick yourself out, but to demand documents from the "real" owner. If he does have the documents for the apartment, but the "landlords" are not going to return your money, call the police.
What questions to ask before renting an apartment
When planning to go to a house viewing, prepare in advance. You can make a rough list of questions you want to ask the landlord right in your phone notes. This is what you should ask the owner before signing the lease and handing over the payment:
- What is the amount of rent? Will it go up in the near future? How often do you plan to raise the rent? What will affect the price increase?
- Do I have to make a deposit? If yes, in what amount?
- Who pays for utilities? What is the payment procedure - by the tenants themselves or by the owner?
- Are there any debts for utilities?
- For how long can I rent an apartment?
- Is it possible to rent an apartment with a child/children, pets?
- Do you plan to come with inspections? How often will this happen?
- Will we sign a lease and draw up an acceptance certificate for the property?
- Were the locks on the front doors changed after the previous tenants moved out?
- What is the condition of the furniture, plumbing, and appliances? If something breaks down through no fault of the tenants, at whose expense will the repairs be made?
- Aren't there any problems with the elevator?
- What do I need to know about my neighbors?
- What is in the vicinity of the house? Where are the school, kindergarten, supermarket, clinic, parking lot, nearest shelter?
The main thing is not to be shy and not to be afraid to delay the owner of the apartment, ask him/her if there are any questions or unclear points. If new nuances are discovered, it is important to write them in the contract to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings later.
What to look at when looking at an apartment before renting
Real estate experts advise to come to the viewing twice. In their practice, it is not uncommon that the first time you liked the apartment, you rented it, but when you live there were a lot of nuances, which the tenants did not pay attention to at once.
The first visit to an apartment is an introductory visit. At this stage you can immediately understand if you like the apartment or you do not want to rent it. At the first visit, it is sometimes difficult to make a decision. This is where the second viewing will be useful.
The second visit is more thorough. During this visit, you can and should carefully inspect the pipes, faucets, and plumbing. If there are obvious problems, you should immediately clarify with the owner who and when will solve them. It is also important to inspect the furniture and appliances. If you see that the mattress on the bed is pressed through or the washing machine gives the impression that it is "breathing", there is reason to ask for a reduction in rent, to give up the apartment or to discuss how it can be solved.
During the second viewing, you need to draw up a deed of acceptance of the property that is in the apartment. The document describes the furniture, appliances, plumbing fixtures, fittings, accessories, decor, etc.
What should be in the lease agreement
Many tenants live in rental apartments without a rental agreement. But it is important to understand that this is always a risk. At any time the owner may decide to sell the apartment and tell the tenants to move out within a week, unreasonably raise the rent by half, or come back every weekend with visits.
A lease agreement for up to 2 years and 11 months can be concluded without notarization. In this case, the document is also legally binding.
What information should be in the lease agreement:
- the subject of the lease;
- the procedure for transferring living quarters for rent;
- lease term;
- the amount of rent per month and the procedure for transferring it;
- the rights and obligations of the lessor and the lessee;
- the responsibility of both parties in the event of a breach of contract;
- the term of the contract, the reasons for early termination;
- details of the parties.
If you wish, the owner of the apartment and the tenant can specify other items in the contract, based on their wishes or the features of a particular home. If the property is rented through a realtor, the specialist must provide a standard rental agreement for the apartment. It can be amended if necessary.
Why rent an apartment through an agency
You can find an apartment for rent in Kiev or in other cities of Ukraine on your own or through a real estate agency. Cooperation with an experienced realtor has its advantages. So, why rent an apartment through an agency:
- Realtors have their own database of apartments, which means that you can find a suitable option faster;
- Real estate professionals know all the schemes of fraud and will help you avoid such situations, and thus save money;
- The agent knows exactly which documents on the apartment to check to make sure that the landlord is the owner;
- Realtor will help you draw up a proper lease agreement, taking into account all the important nuances;
- Real estate agency saves time for the tenant - there is no need to search for an apartment, arrange viewings, check the owner's documents, and solve minor organizational issues;
- The right realtor and after signing the contract will help with additional issues that may arise, such as parking rental, fixing any changes in the contract, etc.
Payment for the agency's services is made only after their provision, when it is already decided that the apartment is to be rented, and the contract is signed. There is no need to make any advance payment or prepayment. It is safe, convenient and professional. Contact the real estate agency "Mayak" to rent an apartment in Kiev for a long term and save your time and nerves.