You've made the big decision to move out of your parents' and into your own apartment. Or maybe you are relocating to a new apartment. Before signing that rent agreement and committing to 12 months of landlord-tenant struggles, look out for these seven red flags.
1. The property manager or landlord is hard to contact: If it is already difficult to reach the property manager or landlord to respond to questions about the property before moving in, it's not a good sign.
2. They won't let you meet anyone else: If you feel uncomfortable with the property manager, ask to speak to someone from management. If they will not let you meet a second person, it's possible a second person doesn't exist. It is a good rule of thumb when dealing with a property manager to ensure that someone else from the property management company is copied.
3. There are still outstanding problems that need to be fixed/ deferred maintenance issues: If you arrive and there are outstanding issues that need to be fixed on the property, there should be a plan for when they will be fixed. Do not trust that it will be fixed by the time you move in if it has not been stipulated in your contract with the landlord.
4. No rental agreement: Some landlords/property managers will ask you to rent a property without signing any documentation. A lease without a contract is quite possibly a scam.
5. Exorbitant charges: Some landlords add charges to the tenancy agreement. Query every charge before paying and signing your tenancy agreement. It is always advisable to seek legal guidance before signing the rental agreement.
6. You are not allowed to see portions or all of the rental property before signing the lease.
7. The landlord asks inappropriate/discriminatory questions about age, disability, sexual orientation, gender expression, religion or ethnic background, place of origin, and marital status.
Damilola Durosinmi-Etti is the in-house counsel and Head of Legal at Spleet.
Looking for a new apartment? Head over to www.spleet.africa/spaces to rent your next space and enjoy flexible rent payments to match your schedule. Spleet landlords are verified and the rental process is safe, fast and affordable. 🏡 💚