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How To Rent An Apartment in Accra: Follow These 8 Steps

Posted In RENTING
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How To Rent An Apartment in Accra: Follow These 8 Steps

Renting an apartment in Ghana can be both exciting and daunting! You’ll not only have to live with your decision, but also live in it. So you would need a bit of guidance to help you avoid making any costly mistakes.

In a general sense, a lease is merely a formal contract to establish a rental agreement. You can lease a property for a specified time, in return for specified periodic rent payment. To rent an apartment in Ghana usually means a certain amount of monthly rent payments for a minimum period of a year.

Follow this step-by-step guide to find cheap apartments for rent in Accra, without going through the hurdles of rent issues in Ghana.

Step 1: Determine your budget 

As you consider finding an apartment in Accra, the first thing to evaluate is your budget. Spending on monthly payment apartments in Accra is not the only cost involved. However, It’s very common for first-time apartment renters to overestimate how much rent they can afford to pay in Accra. 

If you can’t afford rent, it’s best to keep looking for cheap monthly payment apartments in Accra that fits your budget. You can consider a 1-bedroom apartment for rent in Accra, a 2-bedroom apartment for rent in Accra or you might be better off by finding roommates and sticking close to your budget than spending so much on rent.

Follow these steps to have an idea of what your overall budget will look like:

  1. Write down your net income, which is the amount you earn monthly. Net income is after any tax deductions.

  2. Subtract your monthly income and recurring bills.

  3. Estimate and subtract your transportation, utility, grocery, lifestyle, and emergency expenses.

  4. With the amount left over, you’ll know how much you can spend on rent. 

 

If you’re having issues finding an apartment in Accra with that price range, take a realistic look at where you can cut expenses.

Step 2. Determine how much you can afford

To find out how much you can afford, you will have to ascertain the following demand factors; location, transportation, utilities, and educational facilities. In searching to find an apartment to rent in Accra, you have to narrow down your neighborhood search. 

If you have a lifestyle that revolves around restaurants, museums, theatres, or other local attractions, look for neighborhoods close to such amenities. If you rent in an area and commute some distance to work, you may actually pay more for transportation than you would if you chose to live closer to work.

Step 3. Find the best time to look for an apartment

In Ghana, rent prices often change seasonally and if your timing is right you can easily get cheap apartments for rent in Accra. Because of the huge housing deficit, it is difficult to get a 1-bedroom apartment for rent in Accra. Especially in the middle of the year when you search for an apartment, you may be able to save money on rent.

Step 4: Create your apartment requirements checklist

Before you start your search, write down a checklist of your needs and priorities. You may consider the following as a major part of your checklist:

  • Parking: If you have a car and you require parking, you need to know if the apartment offers assigned parking, whether garage space, on-street parking is available, or any fees are involved.

  • Amenities: You might want an apartment building with a pool, tennis courts, and a gym. Make sure to slow down to understand if you “need” these amenities or are they just nice to have. Having some amenities built into your rent may actually save you money.

  • Appliances: If you cook at home, you’ll want a stove and oven that works, a refrigerator and freezer to store food, and possibly a dishwasher.

  • Space and number of rooms: Consider the size of your bedroom, if you want or need an en suite bathroom and the size of other living spaces outside your bedroom.

  • Security: Depending on your location, you may want to live in a building with extra security for your apartment so only people with key access can get inside.

Step 5: Research potential apartments in the area

Finding the perfect apartment could take a few months, depending on your requirements and apartment availability. Always start your search in the preferred neighborhoods before you move from your current home.

Conducting an in-person apartment viewing will tell you more about the apartments published online, which can sometimes be misleading. Ideally, you can at least request a virtual showing of the unit you’ll be renting. That's if you can’t actually tour the apartment so that you can get a live feel for the unit and the building. The best thing to do is to visit in person, so you’ll know if other residents are friendly, whether they are likely to be noisy, and if the complex is in good condition.

Here’s a list to review during an apartment viewing:

  • Check locks on windows and doors to ensure they close properly. Condensation on the windows inside indicates they do not close properly.

  • Look for spots on the walls or ceilings that could indicate a leaky roof or pipes. Turn on every faucet to ensure the water pressure is good and that it runs clear with no discolouration.

  • Flip on every light switch and make a note of any burnt-out bulbs. Check if the floor slants look warped, which could signify previous or existing water damage.

  • Look around for outlets to ensure there are enough, and their locations are good. Feel free to test them with a phone charger or clock. Sunlight can affect your overall mood, so large windows are ideal.

  • Try out the appliances. If a unit doesn’t work or is outdated, ask the property manager if they’re willing to replace or fix it and get a written confirmation.

  • Try your cell phone to make sure you have service in the apartment. Listen for noise from other apartments. If you can hear other residents, they can hear you.

Step 6: Ask questions when looking for apartments

Asking the right questions before renting an apartment in Accra will help know the state of the apartment you are going to rent. Because if you don’t ask questions, landlords and property managers may hide the truth. 

Here is a list of questions to ask when renting an apartment in Accra:

  • How do I pay rent?

  • How are late fees assessed?

  • Where can I park my car?

  • How far in advance do I need to give notice before moving out?

  • Can I sublet my apartment?

  • How can I break my lease?

  • What kind of changes can I make to my apartment?

  • How do you handle emergency repairs?

  • Is rental insurance required?

  • What is the pet policy?

Step 7: Fill out the rental application form  

In Ghana, most landlords and property managers don't charge an application fee. Some landlords skip the rental application and go ahead to sign the tenancy agreement form.

Read Also: How To Write a Tenancy Agreement Contract in Ghana

Be prepared to pay your rent security deposit: You are likely to pay your security deposit and one year's rent in advance. The security deposit will be equal to your one month’s rent or more in some areas.

Landlords and property managers collect a security deposit to cover any damages you may cause over and above normal wear and tear. These funds hold the apartment for you while you enjoy your stay in the rented apartment in Accra.

Be prepared to negotiate specific lease terms: While the lease is a legal document, not every point in the lease is set in stone. You can always ask. Learn more about what you should know before signing a lease agreement.

Step 8: Prepare to move into your new apartment

Now that your tenancy agreement has been signed and approved, it’s time to move into your new apartment. Moving can be stressful, especially for a first-time apartment renter. So planning is the key to making your move smooth and easy.

  • Organize your move: Discuss the earliest move-in date with your landlord. With a date set, you can start packing. Your landlord may allow you to move in before the lease date.

  • Ask your family and friends to help you pack: This is less expensive than hiring professionals but requires patience and coordination to work around everyone’s schedules.

  • Pack your belongings carefully: Label every box to make it easier to unpack. When packing, use smaller boxes for heavier items and larger boxes for lighter items. Keep a box of essentials and important documents, including your lease, with you when you move.

  • Deep clean before unpacking if possible: Ask your friends and family if they will help or if a professional cleaning company can do this for you. Always schedule a deep clean of your apartment before moving in.

  • Make a move-in checklist: As a first-time apartment renter, you have endless details to remember, from towels and sheets to all of the kitchen gadgets.

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