Tips for Tenants
If you are looking to rent a residential unit (apartment or villa), or lease commercial space (shop, office, warehouse, etc.), the following checklist should be fundamental to your search:
Set a reasonable timeframe within which you will conduct your search, and the earlier you start the better as no potentially good property will stay in the market indefinitely as you try to make up your mind.
Make sure that you fully comprehend all the terms of the lease/rent contract, especially with regard to items such as the commencement and termination date, renewal, maintenance and repair (especially what and how much is covered), grace period for late rent payments (if any), rent increases, subleasing, rules on keepings pets, etc.
If you are planning on renting in an apartment building or any shared space, know what common area fees will be charged and what facilities are meant for communal use. For commercial tenants, know the rentable square footage from the usable square footage as this will determine how much of the area you will be actually using for your business operations.
Secure the following documents once everything is set in order: your lease or rental agreement, security deposit receipt, list of things wrong with the apartment or commercial unit (preferably with photos) before move-in co-signed by the landlord or his/her representative, rent receipts (or cancelled checks), landlord's address and phone number, and all other papers related to the lease/tenancy.
Aside from the leasing/rent payments and the security deposit, know exactly what fees you will be paying for as one-time expenses and what need to be paid periodically and for what purpose.