Beyond Jargon: A guide and checklist for tenancy related formalities

Finding the right flat or the perfect house for rent is a big achievement. However, the process from finding the ideal property to actually moving in can be quite treacherous. It requires paperwork and other formalities. A small lapse or an oversight can put you back at square one. To prevent anything fall through the cracks, it is important to make a checklist and to be prepared well ahead with the process. Many a times, simple things can be made complicated by the jargon.

This article has tried to list down things stepwise and sans jargon so you can be well prepared and become a tenant of a beautiful property with minimum stress.

Step I: Holding Deposit

The holding deposit is the token amount that is paid to express your interest in the property. A holding deposit is paid to the property dealer or the agent. The holding deposit is the first step towards sealing the deal. In a nutshell, it means, that the property has been reserved for you and if all goes well, you will be moving in soon.

Step II: Best Foot Forward

After getting the holding deposit, the landlord is likely to run a reference check for you. Usually, past landlords are contacted for reference check. Make sure that you provide authentic references with the right co-ordinates. Many landlords are put off if a potential tenant is sloppy and gives out incorrect reference details by being careless. So, be thorough and double check the email id and phone number of your formal landlords before passing them on. It will be a good idea if you get in touch to say a quick hello and appraise them about a likely call from your future landlord.

Step III: The Deposit

If you reach the third step, the tenancy is more of less secured. The deposit is the money deposited by the tenant with the landlord. The deposit is usually equal to two month’s rent and it’s a security blanket of sorts for the landlord. It protects the owner’s interest should the tenant disappears, or damages the property and then refuses to pay for repairs. The money is usually paid back in full to the tenant when he vacates, provided he hasn’t caused any damage to the property.

Step IV:  The Catalogue

After the deposit, comes a whole array of paperwork. A main item in this is the catalogue of the inventory. It lists down the movable assets that come along with the property; e.g., electrical fittings, faucets, shelves, cupboards and furniture items if any. Before signing on the catalogue, check that if the list tallies with the actual items. This inventory is used to keep a tab on items when you vacate. Many landlords may have yearly of half yearly tally too. If any damages are found, the amount is deducted from the deposit.

Step V: The Agreement

This is the final formality before you move in. The Agreement officially makes you the tenant of the property. The Agreement or the Tenancy Agreement lists down the rights and duties of the tenant as well as the landlord. It is also the go to document in case of any dispute between the two parties.

This five step checklist will hopefully make it easier for you to rent a property and be document ready.

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