Items to lookout for when renting an apartment

Tenancy Agreement. The legal contract that lists out the terms of the lease between the landlord and tenant. These include the duration of the lease, the option to renew, and the rental rates among others.

Security Deposit. A security deposit is usually required upon signing of the Tenancy Agreement, and refunded without interest when the lease ends. The landlord reserves the right to deduct from the deposit any costs and expenses arising from the tenant breaching any of the covenants in the contract.

Service Charge / Maintenance Fees. For properties such as condominiums and apartments with shared compounds, services charges / maintenance fees are payable and are usually accounted for in the gross rent.

Diplomatic Clause. Tenants (especially expatriates) are usually able to terminate the lease after 12 months with 2-3 months’ written notice to the landlord, subject to documentary proof of the tenant being transferred or relocated to another country, or cessation of employment.

Repairs & Maintenance. The tenant is usually responsible for maintaining the leased premises in good order and, carry out minor repairs / periodic aircon servicing at his own costs. Only major repairs and maintenance would be the landlord’s responsibility.

Utilities, Telephone, Gas, TV. The tenant has to apply for water, electricity, gas supply, and telephone line. The setup and monthly charges for such services are payable by the tenant.

Furnishings. Partially furnished properties incorporate air-conditioning, basic kitchen appliances, washing machines / dryer, lighting and curtains. Fully furnished properties further include moveable furniture such as tables, sofas, etc.

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