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Top 5 Things To Ask Your Landlord Before Signing Your Lease

THEY SAY A BIRD THAT KEEPS ITS MOUTH SHUT, NEVER GETS FED. IN THIS POST, WE’LL BE LOOKING AT 5 THINGS THAT YOU SHOULD ASK YOUR LANDLORD BEFORE SIGNING THAT LEASE AGREEMENT.

CAN I MAKE THIS SPACE MY OWN?

If you are renting your own apartment or home, the idea is to be comfortable, right? But remember, your taste could be completely different from that of your landlord’s. So before you put that fire engine red paint on the living room walls or hang that creative DIY metal chandelier on the 12 ft ceiling, I would suggest that you first get permission from your landlord, and preferably, in writing.

ARE PETS ALLOWED?

Luckily for us in Jamaica, landlords don’t stick out on charging a pet deposit. Yea, you read right, a pet deposit. Some will tell you point blank – no pets allowed. Pets can cause major damage, whether trained or untrained, and the price of getting pee stains and odours out of the landlord’s carpet can be a pretty sum. So before you move that pet into your new home or apartment, check if it is okay with your landlord.

WHO TAKES CARE OF THE LAWN?

Do you live in an apartment or townhouse complex that collects a monthly maintenance fee or do you live in a single or multiple family home? Who takes care of the lawn depends on these questions. In Jamaica, if you live in a townhouse or an apartment that collects a monthly maintenance fee, that will generally pay for the upkeep of the pool, the gym and other shared spaces which include the lawn. But if you live in a single or multiple family home, your landlord might require you to take care of that expense.

WHO ARE MY NEIGHBOURS?

Do they work? Any children? Do they keep dance and church? Are they smokers? It is not too forward of you to ask. You see, finding out who your neighbours are,  will help you to make a more informed decision because they will affect your quiet enjoyment in your new space.

SO, WHAT’S INCLUDED?

It’s never good to assume that a new apartment will come with appliances. Even if you are renting ‘uptown’ baby, where the price might be a little higher, it is always better to ask what is included in the apartment. Sometimes it might be a pleasant surprise what perks are included.

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4 Reasons You Should Never Lie To Your Landlord

DO YOU REMEMBER THE STORY OF PINOCCHIO AND HOW HIS NOSE GREW EVERY TIME HE TOLD A LIE? WELL, A LIE COULD COST YOU WAY MORE THAN JUST YOUR NOSE GROWING. HERE ARE THE TOP 4 REASONS YOU SHOULD NEVER LIE TO YOUR LANDLORD.

LOSS OF REFERENCE

Reputation is something that money can’t buy. Yes, we know people tell lies all the time. But you might be walking yourself out of signing that new lease. Without a strong rental history or solid references, it might be very difficult to get that home of your dreams since past landlords are generally called to verify the type of tenant you were.

LEGAL ACTION

Now if you have created damage that is greater than your security deposit can cover, your landlord, in Jamaican terms, ‘a go carry yuh go court’. Be very careful.

BREAKING YOUR LEASE

So when you take in your friend to live in the second room and you split everything down the middle, that is called a sublet. Does your landlord know about this? Some lease agreements do allow you to sublet but before you’ve moved in the next tenant, you should always seek permission from your landlord.

SECURITY DEPOSIT

Darling, if you have Gucci and Prada, your two shiatsu poodles ‘cutting dem ten’ watching TGIT in your landlord’s leather sofa that came with your fully furnished apartment. Your landlord or landlord’s agents are going to bill you for damages, ask you to remove the pets  AND they could terminate the lease, leaving you to ask “weh mi money deh?”

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5 Things You Should Do Before You Unpack

They say if you fail to plan then you plan to fail. Here we will be exploring 5 things you should plan to do before unpacking into your new home.

5. TAKE PICTURES OF EVERYTHING

And I do mean everything – the walls, floors, ceilings, you name it, snap it. It is important to photo document the state of the apartment or home before you move in. This will be your defence just in case your landlord wants to hold on to your security deposit when you move out (especially if it was only regular wear and tear).

4. PERSONALISE YOUR NEW SPACE

Plant it, hang it, screw it, paint it or even sew it! Of course, you should check with your landlord, the extent to which you can make the space your own. Side note – if you decide to paint, some paints may be really harmful to your family, especially small children. So air out the space before you move in.

3. CLEAN IT

Now if you are like me, mould, odours and creepy crawly stuff could freak you out.  Ugh! Check for mold near sinks, toilets or anywhere in the apartment where water pipes can be found. Also, check for water marks in the ceilings or on walls because this could be a sign of even bigger problems.

Ok, now let me tell you a little secret. If you are renting a fully furnished apartment, check for bed bugs on all cushioned surfaces because  ‘chink wi bite yuh‘. If they are present, then you might want to ask your landlord to call pest control. But if it is not that bad, then just use your insect spray.

2. CHANGE THE TOILET SEATS

Just spend the $2,000 JMD and get new toilet seats so you can feel like a king or queen sitting on your throne. Enough said.

1. MEET THE NEIGHBOURS

Don’t be shy, go meet your neighbours. They can tell you much more about the neighbourhood and it is always nice to have friendly people nearby in case of emergencies.

POWER TIP: CHANGE YOUR LOCKS

I know a lot of landlords will not want to hear me say this, but if you’re living alone it is better to be safe than sorry. You’ll first want to check your lease agreement to see if this is allowed. If it’s not, then call your landlord to see if they can make that special allowance. You can also add sleeper locks and if you can afford it, then put in a security system.

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3 Signs It’s Time To Split With Your Landlord

3 Signs It's Time to Split With Your Landlord

1 min read

 

 

 

 

By Cherine Anderson

THE WRITING’S ON THE WALL. SOMETIMES YOU DON’T WANT TO SEE IT, BUT IT’S BETTER TO PACK YOUR BAGS, PACK YOUR BOXES, LEAVE A NOTE AND SAY GOODBYE! HERE ARE SOME SIGNS TO LET YOU KNOW WHEN IT’S TIME TO PART WAYS WITH YOUR LANDLORD.

3. UNEXPECTEDLY RAISING THE RENT

In Jamaica, landlords are allowed to raise the rent by 7.5% annually. However, anything above this requires permission from the rent board. Raising the rent unexpectedly could be a sign that the landlord has plans for the home or apartment. Or it could also mean that the landlord has fallen on hard times. Either way, watch the signs.

“Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos .Aenean non turpis vitae ligula tristique sagitt isras varius erat pulvinar eros pretium”

2. FREQUENTLY UNANNOUNCED VISITS

Okay Mr. Landlord, why are you at my house at 7 pm on a Sunday night? It is not normal to have your landlord show up unannounced at your home on a regular basis. In fact, it is a bit creepy. You can discuss your concerns with the landlord and if there is no change to this habit, then consider starting the search for your new home.

1. LANDLORD GOES M.I.A

If you’ve had a variety of issues for an extended period of time and you can’t seem to find your landlord, then that might be your biggest tell tale sign. The roof is leaking, pipes are dripping and cockroaches are running world class records across your living room. Heck no! If your lease explicitly states that repairs are to be covered by your landlord, then my darling, they need to be covered by your landlord.

A word of advice – do not withhold paying your rent because that can get you evicted! Instead, try reaching out to the landlord by phone. Be sure to follow up with email responses as this becomes evidence if you end up breaking your lease and the landlord will be forced to return your security deposit.

BEFORE YOU GO

Learn How To Buy An Apartment or Condo in Jamaica

This FREE (and highly resourceful) eBook will give you several tips and strategies to help you buy an apartment or condo.

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