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10 Things To Consider Before You Sign A Rental Lease In Accra

10 Things To Consider Before You Sign A Rental Lease In Accra

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10 Things To Consider Before You Sign A Rental Lease In Accra

You've finally found the perfect apartment in Accra to rent after all the calls and searches in the big city of Accra. But wait, before you commit to that rental agreement, certain caveats must be outlined to ensure a peaceful renting experience. In most cases, the inability of tenants to go through rental agreements causes tenants to be evicted in Ghana.

Because of the struggles you go through before getting a new apartment to rent in Accra, it’s often tempting to sign a rental agreement swiftly while largely ignoring most of its provisions or any potentially related issues. You might think that these issues don’t matter because it’s only a temporary arrangement anyway. 

But mind you, any factor that you ignore could be a problem later. For that reason, here's a quick take on the parameters that you need to be mindful of before signing a lease agreement in Ghana with the landlord.

1. Can You Have Roommates?

It's obvious that some landlords in Accra don't allow roommates unless you're a couple, and for this reason, asking the landlord for first-hand information is very important. Just because it’s common to live with roommates in rental apartments and rental houses in Ghana does not mean all landlords allow it. 

Don’t always assume that the landlord will allow roommates, because some landlords will want to approve roommates or may not allow them at all. Landlords in Ghana who don't understand the law might think it's OK, but those who do know the law will want to access any potential roommates before agreements are signed.

2. How Is The Neighborhood?

Most homeowners in Ghana do their apartment hunting daily, but you should check out both the complex and the neighbourhood at night. That’s when you get to see the true personality of any building or neighbourhood. You may want to pay attention to how people enter and leave the building, any unnecessary noise, the traffic situation in the neighbourhood, whether people typically congregate in the area, and what types of vehicles are on the property. 

3. Who’s Responsible for What?

In most rental agreements in Ghana, the landlord provides certain services that the tenant is responsible for. In general terms, the landlord will be responsible for the services listed in the lease. Should there be any others you want included in the lease, you’ll have to negotiate those before signing the lease agreement. That may require a higher rent advance, and you’ll have to determine if it’s worth the extra cost.

4. The Parking Situation - Is There Enough Parking Available?

Parking is a major thing to consider when hunting for apartments for rent in Accra. Most of the time, you see tenants in Accra parking their cars on the roads, making it inappropriate for drivers and sidewalks. Especially in neighbourhoods where space is tight, parking disagreements can be a headache for many tenants in Accra. 

Here are some tips for finding a place to park in Accra:

  • Look for apartments that have designated parking spaces.
  • Ask the landlord or property manager about parking availability.
  • Be prepared to pay for parking, either monthly or per-use.
  • Consider renting a parking space in a nearby garage or lot.
  • Be patient and persistent in your search for a place to park.

5. The Rent - Is It Affordable for You?

The rent is perhaps one of the most common yet paramount parameters tenants should keep an eye on. This is because every rent agreement has a clause that mentions the rent you will have to pay and the increments that go along with it. Remember, if there are no rent reviews, which signifies an increase in rent over time in the rental agreement, you may have issues with the landlord in case he decides to increase rent.

6. The Condition of the Apartment - Is It in Good Repair?

Your landlord in Accra can provide you with a list of components in each room of the house or apartment. You should make sure that each of these components the landlord provides is in good condition and in good working order. Those that are not must be indicated to the landlord and completed before you move in. If your landlord does not provide you with a formal list, then you must create one and complete it yourself.

7. What Is the Landlord's Reputation?

Do a quick background check on the landlord's reputation before signing on the dotted lines. Some landlords in Ghana make unannounced inspections, so it is prudent to know if your landlord in Ghana is part of that category. If he is, you should do your best to make sure that the inspections are performed on schedule and always with proper and reasonable notice. 

8. How Can the Lease Be Terminated?

Though it’ll be too early to think about moving out when you haven’t even moved in yet, it’s still important to understand what’s expected of you and if those expectations are reasonable and doable. Knowing what the lease termination requirements are from the landlord can help you to both be prepared for the event and to maintain the property in a condition that will make that exit easier.

9. The Security Situation in the Neighborhood

Is the apartment in a safe neighbourhood? Is there security on site? These are questions that you need to find answers to because you cannot live comfortably and relax in a crime zone area. You can research the crime rate online or talk to local residents to get a sense of how safe the neighbourhood is. It is important to feel safe and secure in your home. 

10. Finally, the Lease Agreement 

Before you go on to sign the lease agreement, it is important to understand all of the terms and conditions. This includes the length of the lease, the rent amount, and the rules and regulations of the property. It is also important to read the fine print carefully, as there may be hidden fees or restrictions that you are not aware of. If you have any questions about the lease, be sure to ask the landlord or property manager before signing. 

Here are some additional tips for understanding a lease agreement:

  • Read the entire agreement carefully, even if it is long.
  • Ask questions if you do not understand something.
  • Do not sign the agreement until you are sure of all of the terms and conditions.
  • Keep a copy of the agreement for your records.

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