Is it your first time to rent a flat? When signing a tenancy agreement with your landlord, you should make sure you are clear on everything stated in it. As the saying goes, the devil is in the details. Here are some tips to help you go through a smooth renting process.

(1) Rental payment
The rent amount, payment method (cash, cheque or autopay, etc) and payment time should be agreed by the landlord and the tenant and clearly stated in the tenancy agreement. After receiving the rent, the landlord should issue a receipt to the tenant to keep as a record.

(2) Define what items are included in the rent
While negotiating the rent, confirm whether the rent is inclusive of expenses, rates, government rent or management fee, etc.

(3) Duration of rent-free period
Sometimes a landlord will offer a rent-free period to his tenant as an alternative to rent deduction. A tenancy agreement should clearly state the duration of this rent-free period and what charges are waived during the period.

(4) Deposit amount
The landlord usually requires the tenant to pay a deposit equivalent to 1-3 month’s rent as a security deposit. A receipt should also be given to the tenant by his landlord. The deposit amount may be adjusted when renewing the tenancy agreement.

Date: 2014-05-14