While signing a lease for renting a property a specific procedure (also read this) is followed:

  • Visit to Property. 
  • Checking inventory, fixtures, and utilities available. 
  • Signing the lease contract.

Whether landlord or tenant, we all that know that before signing the lease we must ensure some information must be checked on priority. The same is true of provisions agreed upon in the rental agreement. These provisions make it possible to deal with any disputes, which may arise later between tenant and landlord. This is particularly important in the current legislative context.
As such the lease should satisfy the tenant as well as the landlord. So what do you need to know about your rental agreement? mimakaan reveals the substance in this article.

The content and form of the lease contract

Before signing a lease, you must make sure of its content and form. Indeed, the lease contains mandatory information, without which it would be null and void. These include:

  • The identity of the parties.
  • The living space available to tenant. This is especially important for portion of houses or when giving out single rooms.
  • The description of the property including its condition.

You must also ensure the prohibited clauses:

  • Unilaterally ending the lease without informing the other party. 
  • Penalties in relation to the delay on payment of rent.
  • Tenant cannot sublet property without the permission of the owner.
  • Prohibition on illegal and immoral activities as per the law. And in case of doing so the penalty on the tenant.
  • The duration of the lease. The duration depends on the type of rental in addition to the situation of landlord and tenant.

For housing properties the lease is for a minimum of one year. It is also tacitly renewable under the same conditions for another year in the absence of contrary provisions. 

In case of renting out rooms to students the lease duration is typically shorter, and renewal of lease is not automatically done.

Regarding rental with a company or an association leases are generally signed for longer durations.

It must also be noted in the agreement as to how to deal with situations when tenant wants to vacate the property before lease contract is over. When the property is in demand a landlord will take a strict approach, and impose some penalty on the tenant to offset his loss.

Agreeing on the rent amount

The rent is agreed between the tenant and the landlord. Rent will be higher or lower dependant upon demand and supply.

At the same time municipalities have mechanisms to regulate the rent. Each year a maximum amount of change in rents is thus set as part of renewal of lease. Please check this before agreeing on yearly rental increase.

An increase in rent may, however, occur in case the landlord renovates the property. The landlord must then act to re-evaluate the rent mentioned in the lease contract.

Rights and duties of the Landlord

The rental agreement defines the general obligations of the landlord. 

Signing of the lease requires landlord to deliver a decent apartment to the tenant. 

The property should pose no obvious risk to the safety and health of tenant.

Similarly, the property’s condition must be in accordance with the lease contract, delivered in good condition of use and repair, and, if furnished, equipped with devices in good working order.

As landlord, you must maintain the premises for rental, and repair the defective equipment. Otherwise, if the tenant damages the property or fixtures the landlord will not be able to do anything.

Finally, the landlord cannot oppose any genuine requirements of tenant that do not alter the property, and are important for daily living of tenant. For example the laying of wallpaper, fresh paint, interior decoration that do not damage the property.
In addition, the agreement must allow the tenant to fully enjoy the property since, after the signing of the lease, it becomes his home.

Rights and duties of the Tenant

As soon as the lease agreement is signed, the tenant is obliged to pay his rent. No delays are allowed without the approval of landlord.

Regarding the use of the property by tenant, it must respect its neighbourhood, the rules of the apartment building, as well as the intended purpose of the contract (commercial or residential use.) He must not sub-let the dwelling without the owner’s consent.

Any work done by tenant must not effect the housing structure, except those with the agreement of the landlord. The tenant can change the carpet, wallpaper, paint, for example. Similarly, tenant cannot oppose any work that the landlord wants to do. 

However, tenant can ask for a reduction of the rent mentioned in the lease contract if the work lasts more than 21 days and affects the use of the apartment.

In the end, the tenant and lessor must remember that the signing of a lease is associated with requirements whose compliance eliminates the risk of litigation.

Finally mimakaan has given an online rental agreement, which may be used as a template by both tenants and landlords for signing their rental agreements. This covers most points mentioned above. Tenants and landlords may alter any provisions as per their specific requirements.

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