Sign your lease
Leasing a place to live is a big decision. As tenant (or landlord), you have a number of rights, but you have to keep to a number of agreements and obligations. If the property is your main residence, the landlord and tenant have to draw up a written lease contract. It has to be signed by both of you. Take a careful look at the lease before you sign.
The rental agreement has to include at least:
- The identities of the landlord and the tenant(s).
- The property's address.
- A description of the building's rooms and spaces being rented.
- The property's designated use (in your case it will be your 'main residence').
- The contract's commencement date and term.
- The monthly rent (and the number of the landlord's bank account plus the date the rent is due).
- Indexation: if the property is your main residence and you have a written lease contract, your rent will be indexed unless this has been explicitly excluded.
- The extra charges for the property (the electricity, water, gas, etc. that you use). Check if there are common charges. Remember: real estate tax never has to be paid by the tenant!
- Schedule of dilapidations: this is legally required.
- Property insurance: tenants have to take out property insurance for their own belongings and liability as tenant. The landlord has to cover damage to the building.
- Alterations to the property (whether or not they're allowed).
- When a tenant quits the property, there are agreements about to-let signs and the days when it can be visited by the new people.
There will be at least two copies of the lease and it'll be signed by both the landlord and the tenant (with the words 'read and approved' written in front of the signatures).
Have a schedule of dilapidations drawn up
A schedule of dilapidations gives a detailed description of the rooms in the home. Damage and defects have to be mentioned in it. It helps avoid arguments when you quit the premises.
Registering the lease
The lease contract (and the schedule of dilapidations) must be registered. Find out more at the Federal Public Service Finance.