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What you need to know when you rent a house

Posted by Carma Andronic on ianuarie 5, 2015
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This article is a bit different. Why is that? In case you are looking for detailed advice on what you should or shouldn’t do, I’m afraid you’ll have to look elsewhere. Instead, here are a few common sense suggestions which, should you take them into account, things are going to be just fine.

What you need to know when you rent a house?

No matter if you are the landlord or the tenant, the first thing you need to realize is that, even before considering any legal contract between the parties, good old interpersonal communication comes first.

Throughout my long years of experience I have witnessed situations of the most varied sort, from 200E/month contracts, negotiated to the last penny, where demands and expectations matched the real life, and all the way to 1800E/month contracts, where the advance payment was handed over, just like that. Without any contract, but solely based on gentlemen’s agreement. And everything turned out fine, to the last detail.

At the other extreme, however, I have seen people who eventually ended up paying large debts left over to them from negligent tenants. I actually met one of them at a sale. He was literally selling his apartment because he found himself with huge household bills which he was completely unable to cover. On another occasion there was a landlord who would no longer let in any girl-tenants because he had been through the unfortunate situation where some lady-tenants made a complete mess of the rented property, and never did the cleaning up. Conversely, I have encountered tenants who were not allowed to do a single thing without their landlord approval, and yet never saw the warranty money back at the end of the contract period; moreover, tenants who realized their landlord ate up their food in the fridge while they were having a shower, just because the landlord had kept a copy of the house keys and considered a normal thing to come in the house, even though it was already rented. This isn’t by far a complete list, with countless examples on both sides.

Therefore it is absolutely crucial there be mutual understanding from the very beginning, no exceptions allowed.

If you are a landlord, here’s what you should know: the right price will bring you the right tenant. It’s no point overestimating your property. The tenants who are in real need of settling in for a long term know the price of the market very well and will naturally seek the most well-balanced offer price for quality. If you cheap out on 50E when closing the deal, it’s highly possible the tenants will seek and find accommodation elsewhere in just a matter of months, and will only be transiting your property until they do. They must be content with the choice they’ve made and go home each time with real pleasure. If your tenants are truly satisfied with the choice, this very thing will turn them into “long-term” tenants and things will look bright on both sides. However, if they leave early on then you are left with no other choice than redecorate the house and start over finding new tenants. This means new costs and wasted time. Let’s imagine the following: say in one whole year you have your property unoccupied for no more than two months, and the rest 10 rented, it is still a very bad thing to happen, for if you do the figures, those 2 months of empty house will have cost you more than if you had lowered down the price a bit and had rented your property on a long term from the very beginning. Money lost in those 2 empty months is just that: lost, and gone for good.

If you are a tenant, on the other hand, you already know much. I assume you’ve been searching for quite a decent time and you want to make sure you’ve made the right choice. You are right. But, there’s a catch, though! Often times, the hesitation when you find the right offer can and will be to your disadvantage. A fine property will not wait for you to make up your mind forever. All good properties out to let are rented very quickly, and unless you know exactly what you’re looking for, you’ll risk losing something you like – just think too long and it’s somebody else’s home already. After all, a beautiful home appeals to anyone.

In all the above story, the main character is the real estate agent. It is he or she that takes care of the old supply-and-demand game, it is he or she that makes things happen. A good agent will know how to lend an ear and then find exactly what you are looking for. The ideal client, or the ideal property. Choose your agent with utmost care and openly communicate with them. As landlord, there’s still one more thing to consider: the client who will attempt to double-cross an agent, and deny him or her the commission, will sooner rather than later do the same to you! No exception. Whoever steals from one place, if need be, will do so from whatever place. All in all, it’s a good thing to know you must find the right tenant for your property. And the other way round. Contracts close and end, but where common sense is present, people will always be pleased.

To conclude, I would like to emphasize that ethnicity, religion or gender are totally irrelevant. I have seen Gipsy people more honest than Romanians, I have met boys, students cleaner and tidier than girls, I have dealt with families with small children or pets who never spoiled a thing in the houses they inhabited. In all instances it was because those people possessed the true common sense Romanians like to call in their native tongue “the seven years from home”. No garden without its weeds, yet that doesn’t mean all flowers are the same.

I wish you good luck and fruitful cooperation!

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