Before You Move Into that Rental Property

Finding a place to stay can be very stressful especially when places you can afford seem to be in dodgy areas and the units in the perceived to be good area have a rental price that is an enormous stretch on your pocket.

If, however, you do find a suitable place in price and location, before you move in look at

The Maintenance of the Place

Many property owners feel they are not responsible for protecting the safety of their tenants and will hand over properties that barely comply with local building and safety codes. The maintenance of a place no matter the location or price should be something you pay mind to.

Some things are pretty easy to spot from the onset. Like, for instance is the building you are going to live in built properly? Is the plumbing working? Is the electrical wiring properly installed, safe and working? The structural integrity of the building and having running water are the things that will let you know if the owner cares about your wellbeing and not just about getting their money.

If you are unable to judge for yourself, ask someone who knows these things and ask them to inspect the property with you before you hand over money and move into a nightmare unit.

The Repair Policy

Usually a property owner is expected to be responsible for making sure that the property is in a habitable condition. Meaning, they must ensure that all vital installations are in functioning order. This includes, but is not limited to keeping the plumbing, electricity and water connections running well. And if they choose to provide some appliances these too must be kept in good working order.

Note that a good property owner will make sure everything is in good working order and will always do whatever else is reasonable and necessary to keep the property in good condition.

The Treatment of Common Areas

In some rental locations there will be common areas. Normally the property owner is responsible for maintaining all common areas of the property. This involves making sure the areas are safe. And safe means the area has adequate lighting and that these lighting fixtures are in working condition and have working light bulbs. It also means keeping the area free from hazards that could cause injuries.

Make sure that you are well aware of what these common areas are and how they will be maintained and by whom.

The Trash 

Keeping the place clean is everyone’s responsibility but if the property owner says they will be the one to remove trash, whether it be taking it out themselves or arranging for someone else to do so, is a plus for you. And what the property owner must certainly do is keep all communal areas, if any, clean. The place does not have to be immaculate but, it does however, need to be consistently free from trash and other debris.

Unfortunately, property owners are not required to provide the appropriate garbage receptacles for depositing dirt and other garbage. This, you might find will be your responsibility.

 

Kwachalelo

A Zambian site sharing quick read articles around work, money and adulting life with selective interviews and quotes.
The founder, editor and lead writer who left university with a good grasp of public administration, economics, money, banking and international relations is also qualified in journalism and creative writing. She has been published in Drum and The BBC Focus on Africa Magazine and has been featured in several local and international publications.
An avid bird watcher with an extraordinary fondness for chikanda ( a Zambian delicatessen that vegans and non-vegans world-wide are putting on their bucket list ) she often tweets in poetry and short prose @kwachalelo