Kwazulu-Natal Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  21 Feb 2011

PROPERTY: Top Questions for Tenants to Ask


Recent Kwazulu-Natal Business News

Just as there are “problem” tenants, there are also “problem” landlords – and even more often, “problem” properties.

“Ask any tenant,” says Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group, “and they’ll tell you at least one horror story about a place they wish they’d never seen – let alone paid their hard-earned money to live in.

“But no matter what it was that bothered them about the place, from traffic noise to a leaky roof or an impossibly nosy neighbour, the fact is they could probably have avoided the annoyance if they had asked more questions before signing the lease, as every tenant has a right to do.”

Writing in the Property Signposts newsletter, he notes that of course whoever shows you a rental home – be it landlord or letting agent – will naturally emphasise the property’s good points and downplay any disadvantages.

“However, they are also obliged to answer truthfully any specific question a prospective tenant asks about the property or area, especially if the answer might affect the decision to rent the property or not. So it is worth having a list of such questions to hand when going to view any home you are considering renting.”

To compile the list, Everitt says, you should try to think of all the bad things you personally want to avoid - faulty plumbing, faulty wiring, roaches, rats, environmental hazards, high crime areas, noisy locations – the list can go on and on.

Others you might like to ask concern the cleaning or servicing of the property; special conditions on the tenancy (such as no pets); the ownership of the property and the reason for the property being empty / available.

“In fact, you should not be shy to ask anything you want, or be satisfied with vague or non-committal answers. The important thing is for you to be able to make an informed decision. After all, it’s going to be your signature on that lease – and your money paying the rent.”

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