Questions to Ask When Renting an Apartment in Accra

Find out what questions you should ask when renting a new apartment. Avoid signing up for a place that doesn’t meet your needs with these helpful tips!

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Questions to Ask When Renting an Apartment in Accra
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Questions to Ask When Renting an Apartment in Accra

 

You have found the perfect apartment in Accra. It is affordable, close to your school or workplace, has ample natural light and even has a pool. The only catch? You must sign a 12-month lease. How do you know if this is the right home for you? We all want to find an apartment that ticks all the boxes. However, most prospective tenants are so focused on getting a great deal that they don’t ask the right questions about things like maintenance records and rent history. As a result, unscrupulous landlords know they can get away with anything from hidden fees to cockroach infestations. To protect yourself from these kinds of situations and find an apartment that meets your needs, you should ask these 10 questions before signing any rental contract:

 

 

Who is responsible for what?

The first question you should ask when renting an apartment is who is responsible for what. This includes who is responsible for repairs and who is responsible for the bills. You should always clarify how each situation will be handled. For example, if something breaks in the apartment, who is responsible for fixing it and how long it should take. If you want to be extra careful, you could even get it in writing. Similarly, you should ask who is responsible for paying the bills. This includes both utilities and the service charge. While some landlords prefer paying for all the bills themselves, many others prefer to have the tenants pay for them. For example, if you are paying the bills, you would want to know how much they are so you can get an idea of what your total rent would be. If you are the landlord, you would want to know what percentage of the bills the tenant would pay.

 

What are the current and past vacancy rates?

This has a lot to do with demand for the apartment. If the vacancy rate is really high, that means there are a lot of people looking for places to live, which could lead to a situation where the landlord might be more picky about who they rent to. If the vacancy rate is really low, that means there’s not a lot of people looking for apartments, which could mean that the landlord might be a little bit more flexible with the terms of your lease.

 

What are the terms of the lease?

When you’re renting an apartment, the first thing you want to do is understand the terms of the lease. A lot of people just don’t ask this question and then they get stuck with a lease they can’t get out of. A lot of leases are written as month-to-month, which means you can leave at any time with proper notice. There are some other lease types that are more long term. For example, some of the leases might be for a year or even two years. For a lease that long, you want to make sure there’s a clause in there that allows you to break the lease if there’s a major repair that needs to happen to the property.

 

Are there upcoming renovations?

If the landlord is planning to renovate the apartment, you want to make sure you’re aware of it and when it is expected to be completed. You also want to make sure that the renovations don’t affect your living situation. If there are renovations planned, you want to make sure that they’re not going to impact your ability to live in the apartment. For example, if the landlord plans to do some renovations that require you to vacate the apartment for a few weeks, you want to make sure you have somewhere else to go.

 

Does the property have an adequate pest management programme in place?

If there is currently a pest problem in the apartment, you will want to make sure the landlord has a plan to handle it. When you are renting an apartment, you definitely don’t want to deal with a cockroach or rodent infestation. If there is currently a pest issue in the apartment, you want to make sure that the landlord has a plan to handle it. You also want to make sure that the plan makes sense. You don’t want to see a pest control company spraying the apartment and then leaving without coming back.

 

Does the property have adequate security measures in place?

If you are renting an apartment, you want to make sure that the building has safety features in place to protect residents from intruders. If a landlord doesn’t have adequate security measures in place, you need to negotiate for that in your lease or you need to walk away from the apartment. If a landlord doesn’t have a plan to address security issues, you should walk away from the apartment.

 

Is there adequate natural light in all common areas and units?

If you are renting an apartment, you want to make sure that there is adequate natural light. If you are renting an apartment and there is not adequate natural light, you need to negotiate for that in your lease or you need to walk away from the apartment.

 

Is the property well-maintained and up to code?

If the apartment is not up to code or if it is not well-maintained, you need to be aware of that. You can walk away from that apartment if you need to. If the apartment doesn’t meet your needs, then you don’t have to sign a lease for it.

 

Conclusion

Before you sign on the dotted line, you should always ask questions and make sure you understand everything. If something doesn’t seem right or if you are not comfortable with it, you shouldn’t feel pressured to sign. When you are prepared, you can avoid falling into traps like hidden fees and nasty surprises.