While renting a property doesn't require as much commitment financially and for as long term as buying a home does, tenants should remember that a lease is a legally binding document, which means they should be sure they understand all the points they are agreeing to upon signature thereof.
Tenants often come unstuck when they take the signing of a lease lightly and don't familiarise themselves with all the terms and conditions contained therein.
A proper lease agreement will ensure both parties' rights are protected.
1. The costs: The monthly rental amount must be clearly noted in a lease agreement. The lease should also clearly detail and explain any deposits that need to be paid, such as a rental deposit and the lights and water deposit, as well as the terms and conditions surrounding the refund of deposits.
2. The rules: If a rental property is situated in a sectional title complex or apartment building or within an estate, there will be certain complex or estate rules and regulations that tenants will be obliged to adhere to.
3. The duration: The duration of the lease should be clearly indicated with specific dates included where applicable to avoid confusion around exactly when tenants can move in or should move out.
4.The termination clauses: There should also be a clear outline of the renewal process should the tenant and landlord wish to extend the lease. There should also be clear terms and conditions for the termination of the lease at the end of the lease period, as well as early termination clauses.
5. Rights and responsibilities: A sound lease agreement will always include clauses outlining both the landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities. These include clauses that specify who may legally live on the property, including any limitations around subletting. The circumstances in which the landlord can enter the unit should also be clearly outlined, as is regulated the Rental Housing Act.
Finally: With any legal document, tenants should be very sure of the lease agreement contents and that they understand all the clauses, terms and conditions and are satisfied with them before signing in order to avoid any surprises later on.
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