Renting property is often an exciting time for a tenant, normally either opening a new location or moving into a new pad. Sometimes the excitement clouds the reason, and important aspects are forgotten.

There are vital points which need to be clarified before putting pen-to-paper. This is for the benefit of both parties.

One of the most important things to consider when entering into a contract is certainty (italics, bold, underlined)

This is what you need to think about:

  1. Monthly rental and what it includes (eg: does it include electricity supply, water, gas, refuse removal, tax, management fees etc). Know what you are in for. How does this benefit the landlord? Because it does not allow the tenant to come back and say that he didn’t know he would be charged for x, y,z. Also- whether rental is subject to an escalation.
  2. Notice period for termination and whether there is an option to renew. Now the tenant has spent $$$ fixing the place up, there needs to be comfort that he is not wasting cash on fitment. Flip side- if the landlord is forking out for tenant installation costs, he must know that the tenant is locked in for some time to get a good return on the investment.
  3. Condition of the premises upon commencement and termination of the lease. Both parties must take pictures and agree on a snag-list. You both do not want comebacks and finger pointing as to the state of the premises and who is responsible for it.
  4. Use restrictions: are pets allowed? are you allowed to operate a business? are you allowed to have guests? etc. Whatever you are going to use the premises for, make sure that it is allowed. (flip side- if you are the landlord, make sure you are happy with the tenant’s prospective use and that it does not conflict with other tenants).

There are lots of things to consider when entering into a lease. Just make sure you get the right advice and that you take your time considering the aspects.