Rent agreement: Must Have Clauses
Many people leave their hometowns and move to different cities to study, for work, for business or for a better lifestyle. The first thing they need in the new city is a place to stay. Given that it’s not easy to buy a home to live in as soon as you move to a new city, especially in metros, most people tend to take a flat on rent. But before you take a property on rent, it is prudent to know the terms and conditions and execute a rent agreement.
AMOUNT OF RENT, SECURITY DEPOSIT, OTHER PAYMENTS
The agreement should clearly mention the amount of rent that you have to pay each month and the due date by which it has to be paid. In most cases, landlords ask for a security deposit which is usually equal to one or two months’ rent amount. Mention the security amount in the agreement and when it will get refunded. Also, ensure that the agreement clearly states what else you’ll have to pay for like electricity, water, PNG, maintenance, and so on. There is a separate meter for utility connections based on which you have to pay bills or you got to pay a fixed amount every month.
DURATION OF AGREEMENT AND RENEWAL CRITERIA
Typically, rent agreements are executed for a tenure of 11 months. Also, clarify about the lock-in period, during which neither the tenant nor the landlord can terminate the agreement, and ensure it’s in the agreement as well. The landlord wants the house vacated before the end of the lock-in period, she has to compensate the tenant by paying an amount equal to the security deposit, in addition to the actual security deposit refund. Note that the lock-in period is not the same as the notice period, which typically lasts one or two months. If the notice period is two months, you will have to give a two-month notice to your landlord in case you plan to vacate the house. However, the notice period is typically not valid during the lock-in period for either party.
LIST OF FITTINGS, FIXTURES
You should always include the fittings and fixtures provided by the owner in working condition. For example No of fans, Geysers, Tubelights, AC’s, CFL’s etc. A tenant should handover all fittings and fixtures in working condition at the time of vacating the flat. All these details should be included in the Rent Agreement.
REGISTRATION OF AGREEMENT
To register a rent agreement you would have to pay charges such as stamp duty and registration fee. The charges are typically shared by the tenants and the landlords but mention that in the agreement. Also, there should be clarity on who will pay charges like legal fee, if any, or brokerage to agents.
Many landlords do not allow tenants to keep pets. If you have a pet, discuss the issue before finalizing a house on rent. A few also have issues with non-vegetarian tenants. Landlords typically keep the original copy of the rent agreement, but you should always keep a copy of the same.