Written By Anguzu Derrick
Quite often we have heard stories being told of how; one paid rent to the wrong person, discovering something you didn’t like about the house or surrounding, and having a landlord who is complicated. A friend of mine recently rented a house in Wakiso and the landlord promised to paint the house after payment. Only to realize that the painting he meant was not to the expected standards. So the question is who is to blame? To answer this, we are going to look at the basic steps one needs to take in order to avoid such mistakes:
Step 1: Do basic research
By this I mean you must be having some idea of what you want in terms of price, number of bedrooms, location of the house, etc ( you don’t want to approach a broker in Namugongo and tell him you want 1 bedroom self-contained with sitting room, tiled at 200k, trust me you will look out of place). It’s important to approach a broker when you already have some knowledge of what you want. The internet has hundreds of properties being advertised in and around Kampala both for sale and rent, you can also ask your friend or neighbour for advice. For instance, this site gives you a good platform to start your property search here
Step 2: Identify a broker/ an agent
This will depend mainly on two things; the areas you have identified are they next or near each other or are they far apart. For instance, one person may want a house either in Kisaasi or Mutungo or Namuwongo and the other person may just want a house in Namugongo and neighboring places like Kira, Sonde, etc. if your choice is like that of the former, you should consider a broker with a wider coverage ( one who knows properties or knows how to deal with brokers across the platform). For the latter, you will have to consider a local broker who knows that area like the back of his hand.
Step 3: Agree on terms and Conditions with the broker
It’s very important to consider the interest of the broker seriously. Before launching yourself into the field, make sure you have agreed on his/her inspection fee, and final payment after finding the house of your desire. If he/she doesn’t inform you earlier, its better you ask him/her and much better when you sign a property inspection document, as this may also help you for future reference in case any issue arises like a court case.
Step 4: Avoid Night Inspection
Not only will you run the risk of falling in wrong hands but viewing a property at night makes you miss out on a number of things you would have identified had it been during the day.
Step 5: Make a Thorough Observation
Don’t be rushed, you have all the time in the world, remember you are the one with the briefcase, don’t worry if the chance passes by, there are dozens of houses out there waiting to be rented that suite your requirements you just have to take your time. Make sure you tick these important points;
- Check for all damages
- Imagine yourself in the house living in it; is the kitchen big enough to allow you to fit in that 600 Litre fridge or you have to close the kitchen door before you can open the fridge? Or is your big sofa able to fit in through the elevator or the stairway door? Such small things matter a lot with time; you should identify them and give immediate solutions to them.
- Check the neighbors around, what sort of neighbors you are going to have to put up with every day and even the surrounding areas of the property. These days many people don’t want to relocate near telecommunication infrastructures, places with frequent loud music or noise, or near the roadside.
- Meet area authorities such as the LC and identify yourself, they will even provide you more information about the house and the area from your brief chat with them.
- And most importantly, check the security of the place and the house; maybe you are a safari type of person, am sure you would prefer a place which doesn’t give you sleepless nights while you are away.
- Are you someone who likes coming back late at night, do you have a car or do you have a school going child that needs to be dropped or picked by the bus? Or how near are health center facilities in-case of emergency, These are some of the questions you should ask yourself- just like how the old saying goes, it’s all about location, location, and location.
Step 6: Make 2nd Visit and 3rd if possible
After doing all the above, I will say again, don’t rush yourself; make a second visit and if possible make the third one maybe there is something you missed out on the previous visit. It’s wise to come for the next visit with someone like a friend or relative, that person will act as the third eye.
Step 7: Sign an Agreement
Now you have identified the house you wanted, the next thing is to sign an agreement with witnesses around on both sides (In this case, your broker should witness as well by all means). The terms should be brought out clearly affecting both parties. For instance, on damages identified, or renovations that may arise
at present or future time and who is responsible. Sometimes the landlord will allow you to incur the costs and reimburses you from your next rent payment.
This article is only meant to raise curiosity but there are many things to consider based on different circumstances. To read more on such topics you can click on some of the links below:-
To have a good search for properties, click on this link Aderok Real Estate property search
And to read more on such topics consider the links below;
- things to look for when house hunting
- five points to check before signing your house agreement
- things not to forget when viewing a property
∼Anguzu Derrick-Aderok Real Estates