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Stop! Before you sign your rental agreement, you must check carefully to make sure hidden costs haven’t been snuck into the fine print. Besides the actual agreed on rental amount, there could be a number of additional costs written into your rental agreement. Scorpion Legal Protection points out what you need to look for.
Some estate agents ask for an admin fee, a fee for doing the pre-inspection, a fee for doing the credit check on you, and a contract fee on top of the deposit and one month’s rent for the first month. Make sure you are aware of exactly how much you will be expected to pay in the first month, or you could be surprised by unexpected costs.
There may be costs involved when you move out, for example, if the landlord or agent specifies that you must have carpets professionally cleaned when you leave. The agent/landlord may not have told you about these costs, but if it’s in the rental agreement then you are liable for them.
Check what repairs are included in the rent. The landlord is typically responsible for making large repairs, like a burst geyser, but may hold you responsible for small repairs, like a leaking tap or a loose cabinet door.
Make sure you know how many months’ notice you need to give and check if there are any reductions in your security deposit for early termination. Make sure you know the costs involved upfront.
You may also be interested in:
Is interest on overdue rent legal?
What is the Rental Housing Tribunal?
Landlord won’t pay back my deposit!
Do you have a burning legal question? Ask it at Scorpion Legal Protection’s live Q&A session on their Facebook page. Anyone can ask their legal question and have it answered on the spot. Follow Scorpion Legal Protection on Facebook and look out for the Q&A video every first Thursday of the month from 11:30-13:30.
* This is only basic legal advice and cannot be relied on solely. This is not financial advice. The information is correct at the time of being sent to publishing.
Date added: 17 February 2022
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