Moving out of the family home is an important step that every person must take to make their way into adulthood. It is a trance that many times, is done in the company of friends or partners, since not everyone has enough money to become independent from their parents by themselves. Besides, most of the time, that dreamed independence is achieved by renting an apartment or small apartment, so knowing the ins and outs of renting can be essential.
Inexperienced tenants can be easily fooled and are often victims of scammers or unscrupulous landlords. But even experienced people sometimes get into unpleasant stories just because they let the relationship with the landlords run its course and were not attentive when signing their housing contract (in spanish: firmar su contrato de arrendamiento de vivienda).
Professional real estate agents have given prospective tenants some tips to help them get a safe deal.
1. Don't go after cheapness
The minimum cost of rent in Madrid today is about 650 ? for a one room apartment. Anything offered in the ads that is much cheaper, is most likely a scam. "There are no apartments at a lower price than the market, and if you find an incredibly friendly owner who, for some reason, rents an excellent apartment with excellent conditions for some reason at a very low cost, then you are being cheated somewhere. All owners have studied the market carefully and are willing to negotiate every euro," advises Mateo Fernandez, manager of a real estate portal.
2. Don't be in a hurry with an advance
Don't rush the apartment you like just by looking at it. First, you're not sure you're communicating with the landlord (who will return this money and how if it turns out that there is no deal or that the landlord is not the real one?) Second, you will still be looking for other options that you might like better.
3. Don't pay money for questionable services
These types of scams, such as false advertising at low prices and collection by agencies offering contacts with landlords in exchange for money, still exist. Therefore, remember that any payment to an agent or agency is made only after the lease is signed.
"There are so-called information agencies in the rental market that offer gullible citizens to choose high quality and affordable housing for a certain price," explains María Mendoza, general director of a real estate agency with offices in several countries. - For their work, they ask for about 400-800 euros, promising to find apartments with a price 20-30% lower than the market price. Having paid the advance, the client receives a list with the telephone numbers of the alleged owners of cheap apartments. But during the call, it turns out that either there are no apartments for rent in the indicated phone numbers, or they are rented at the market price and not at the price promised by the swindlers".
4. Consult documents
The main thing that the real estate agent checks during communication with the owner and what he or she should pay attention to when choosing a house on his or her own are the documents. The original identity document and the title deed must be provided; no copies or plasticized documents are allowed. It is not uncommon for an apartment to be rented to several tenants at the same time using false documents.
5.Taking an inventory of the property
When inspecting a floor or apartment, the main thing is not to rush, but to carefully examine the appearance and condition of the property, furniture and appliances. After that, you should make an inventory of the property, either in a special form of the act of acceptance of residential premises or in free form. It describes the appearance and technical state of the furniture, lighting, appliances, windows and doors. If something does not work, this should also be recorded during the inventory of the property, so that later it will be easier to deal with the owner's claims. Furthermore, in this way you cannot be claimed for any damage to furniture or objects that were previously damaged when you left the property.
6.Making a contract
Be sure to sign the lease. If you wish, there are contracts online (contratos online) that you can download. It regulates the relationship between the two parties, specifies the object of the contract, the rights and obligations of each party, as well as the exact address, information about the owner or owners, and the terms of the contract. An important point of the contract is the payment, its form, size and terms. Plus all the additional costs that may arise during the operation: which of the two parties signing the contract is responsible for what, for example, in case of force majeure (flooding of your apartment, community fees, electricity, water...). A contract is essential for many procedures, to be able to get some help and to prove that this is your home from that moment on, so the landlord can no longer enter it without your specific permission.
"If there is no agreement, the risks increase many times, since any verbal agreement is instantly broken if a difficult situation arises," warns Maria Mendoza.
7. Paying by bank transfer
It is highly desirable that payments under contract are made by bank transfer, as this is the actual confirmation of payment. But if you pay in cash, you need to receive receipts. It is not always convenient, so cashless payments are easier.
8. Working with a real estate agent
Work with agents to find and rent an apartment. This will allow you to avoid fraudulent schemes, waste of time calling non-existent ads, agree on a meeting time, prepare documents... With an agent, you can rent an apartment faster and sometimes even cheaper.