A few things that you should know before signing a contract with a Real Estate company when it comes to renting to make your life as simple and straightforward as possible(Which is what an Estate Agent wants for you!).
1) Real Estate company: This one is very important, you need to know as much about the Real Estate company you will be dealing with for the next year while renting. How long has the company been licensed? Is the company licensed to deal with Real Estate? Is all the paperwork correct, from spelling, punctuation to grammar? If not then they may not be the best company to deal with as they might not be very professional.
2) Agent: When dealing with an Estate agent make sure that you have a contact name and number of the person you will be able to contact and talk to about any issues or queries you may have. If not then you will be calling a call centre and you may speak to ten different people just to try and get something sorted out. This may upset and even anger you. This is not what an Estate Agent should be doing to its clients!
3) How much is the rent? Please always confirm with the estate agent how much the rent is and have it in writing so no issues occur later on when signing the lease agreement.
4) Is there a deposit to pay? When dealing with a licensed Real Estate agent there will always be a deposit to pay. This is normally the same amount as the rental fee but always confirm with the agent as sometimes it may be a little bit more depending on the property. This will also only be paid after signing the contract.
5)Is there a levy to pay? If you are looking at moving into flats or a complex then there is normally a levy to pay. You will need to check with the agent you are dealing with to find out how much it is to make sure that you can pay this each month. Also, confirm who you need to pay the levy to as it varies depending on the place you will be moving to. Find out what the levy is covering while you stay on the property.
6) Are there any other bills to be paid? When renting out accommodation it will always be the tenant’s responsibility to pay the following: City of Harare, Zesa, Internet, telephone (if one is installed). And if no water then having to buy water and getting it delivered to the property.
7) Maintenance of the property: Always confirm before signing the contact who is dealing with the basic maintenance of the property while you will be living there. This can be anything from a light fixture issue to a damaged wall. You will need to be aware of all of this before moving in so that no issues arise during the time of you renting out the property. Also, confirm who you will be dealing with to contact about any issues that do come up.
8) Viewing of the property: Before signing the contract make sure you have seen the property and make sure you are happy with everything and if not get things sorted before moving in.
So now you have a few tips and guidance notes on what to look for and help you when it comes to renting. You should now be able to sign the contract and enjoy your new home.