Where is the apartment or room located? Is it far away from work, school or does not have any pharmacy or clinic etc available. Everyone has specific ideal location they need. Aside the beauty and peaceful serenity of the neighborhood, one has to make the decision right which ascertaining the cost of commuting or the rent. You can’t move the house/room around, you can only change that when rent expired. Hence, the location must be crucial. It should feet your needs well.
In Accra and Kumasi, the most populated cities in Ghana, consider the flooding issue. Inspect and read a lot about the area during raining seasons. There is a funny cliché “visit the place you want to live during raining season”.! This might be extreme, but you need not to compromise on where to stay during raining season. There will always be raining season. You will need to take a critical look at the drainage system in around the location you are going for rent. When the location is okay by you, then you can decide other factors as well.
How much can you afford for rent? Don’t ‘sweep’ off your account to pay for that specific apartment or room or house because you want to live in that expensive area. In many instances there are other accommodation which will fit your budget perfectly without the discomfort of not having enough left. According to lendkey studies report , you should not spend more than 30% of your monthly salary on rent or annual salary on a 1year advance rent.
As a matter of fact, rent is a major expense which will take a good amount of your salary. Try and select an apartment you can comfortably pay each recurring month. In many instances in Ghana, landlords are into 1 – 2years advance payment. Kindly walk away if you think its beyond your means, because, there are other landlords with flexible payments.
Don’t spend all your money on rent, because, there are utilities to be paid for; water, electricity and possibly waste collection (zoomlion). In many houses offered for rent, you have to paint or fix little little cracks here and there. So, be cautious. This means that you will need to pay for rent and get some money done for these unintended costs.
You cannot choose a place to rent without looking at the availability or issues of Electricity, Water supply, Dustbins (for waste), mobile network, internet availability etc. Make some enquiries about these basic amenities or preferecial needs. Check the neighborhood if there are good access to exit and entry; good roads or untarred ones and pathways. The house or apartment with access to good is crucial since, it could be needed during emergencies or daily commuting. No one stays in their apartment or room for a whole year, so, how to go and come in is important.
This does not mean, search for an expensive area with all these amenities, but, choose an affordable area with these facilities. Also, having access to internet or data for calls is crucial. Check if the neighborhood have access to these basic but important services. You might not have all the perfect things, but, in a hierarchy of importance make a decision of what is important to you.
You can have a personal preference for size of the house or compound where you want to live. However, this is your sole prerogative.
This has been critical with those who are not interested in using house agents or have no prior knowledge of the nearest accommodation. You can check around in specific neighborhood or ask friends. However, one useful and important aspect is to visit online marketplace. One of them is Oxglow Trader (www.oxglow.com.gh). You can also try Tonaton, Jiji or Meqasa. There are a lot of landlords and agents posting houses and accommodation for rents. This could come hand and very important for you to get rent.
I cannot stretch over security this much, but, it’s very important factor to consider. You don’t want to put your life in danger as well as your properties too. Do a little research about how prone and frequent issues of armed robbery occurs in the area. Also, whether there are enough street lights or people living around to help in time of desperate need. Don’t compromise on security. Check if the area has good routes or nearby policy station or temporal security post.
Before you move in do some few investigations to ascertain how secured the room, apartment or house to be hired will be. There is no perfect location for risk averse in terms of robbery or harm caused to lives, but, ensure the place have good routes or nearby security assurance facilities.
Also, check if they house is gated and if not, then availability of street lights, change all locks when you move in as well.
Safety could also come from the state of the building, make sure, its not an old dilapidated house which could pose as a danger to you or you family. Also check the windows if they are well fitted and safe. Ensure the building structure is in good condition as well, because, your life is much precious.
Read the tenancy agreement properly to find out if cost of renovation or any issues concerning repairs is the cost of lanlord or the tenant. If there is none, try and draft one quickly for all partners to agree to. This is also crucial, before you count money to rent that apartment, room or house make sure you have done due diligence. This is important if you are using an agent. Some of the agents could be dubious in their work. Ensure that the landlord has approved the room, house or apartment to be vacant. This is to avoid double tenant situations.
There have been issues when a tenancy agreement was given to two people or one persons agreement has not ended and another came in. Avoid all these, by asking questions concerning earlier occupants. Ask questions about the facilities and what are you paying for. Is the rent covering Zoomlion (waste collection) or anything else. In terms of renovation, it should be the responsibility of the landlord, but also query that as well, if you could fix and reimburse or deduction in rent. Also, Some landlords require their tenants to pay for maintenance once a year while others don’t. Ask the agent or landlord if you are required to pay any maintenance fee and also what’s to happen in the case of emergency repairs.
With all these details, factor them in the tenancy agreement. Write them boldly what you are paying for and all the information provided. The date of the rent is important. Also, make sure, the landlord signs the document not the agent. After landlord has signed upon the two of your reading what is written in the agreement. If the tenancy agreement is already prepared, then find out more about certain clauses you find unclear. This will avoid future disagreements.
After all these due diligence is done, do not waste time on payment if the house, apartment or room is the right for you to rent. If you do not hall full payment money, just let the landlord know of it and you will pay within few months. However, if the money is available, in order not to lose the perfect rent offer and after you are comfortable with all the due diligence and personally visited the accommodation being offered for rent. Now it’s time to make payment, make sure the landlord, landlady or house owner has in the process of payment. If possible pay to them directly and deal with any agent later. House owners agreement too needs to be properly signed.
One final caution, making payment to agents might bring complications, but with the real owner of the house or apartment you could be much assured of avoiding any form of fraud.
These few steps you need to take before paying for a rent in Ghana or any other place. There is the need to get value for money, take enough time to assess all the options available, if you are limited, then look through which ones is closer to your needs. On a lighter note, you could say a prayer before moving into that apartment, room or house. Having a safe, sound and affordable house, room or apartment to rent bring much relief. Others do not have access to these perfect accommodation, but certainly after reading you will be the lucky one in finding that perfect rent or accomodation in a good area of your choice.