How to Avoid the Pitfall of Renting
There are so many Representative or Real Estate Negotiator in the market and with that, it is not uncommon from time to time we have encounter with untrustworthy or “half-truth”. In fact, it is important to be transparent to both the Tenant as well the Property Owner. There been recorded cases of Agents running away with Tenant’s money only to be pocketed by themselves. At the end, what came to be a fruitful end between the Tenant and Landlord, became instantly soured just because of one untrusted Agent. (The Agent here is also termed as “Real Estate Negotiator”, “Real Estate Executive” or “Property Agents”)
When we first started the Rentopia project, our goal was relatively simple. We wanted to create ‘values” for all our users. The platform that allows everybody to benefit and to create a marketplace whereby “building trust” is critically imperative to our business modal.
While we acknowledge despite best efforts by many Real Estate Companies to curb scrupulous and untrustworthy Agents, s**t still happens. As a result, I personally belief that the last line of best defense is education. Since knowledge is ever expanding, we will leave this page dynamic. If there are new information, we will put it down to let you all know what is going around and how to avoid these pitfalls that can cost both the Property Owners and Tenant pain. Here are some of the advises when engaging in a Rent Business:
Always call the Agency to confirm the validity of your Real Estate Agent
Before you allow an eager Agent to serve you, always confirm them with the company. For the benefit of the doubt, every Agent has a REN number. Also, ensure that the number of their name card matches their company phone number. You can always Google the company branch for information.
Taking care of the Important Key Issues on Your Property
From experiences, most Tenants do not mind about defects on your property so as long it does not interfere with conveniences. If your property has loose ends that needed repairing, it may not be a bad idea to fix it first. But some of the fixing needed before it becomes a rent condition.
• Leaking rooftop, toilets floor, and raised floor due to water sipping in. Leakages is a big turn off.
• Taking care of Infestation of pest around by hiring a Pest Control to take care of these.
• Ensure that the place is clean and in movable conditions.
• Have a checklist of items of defects to your awareness that you want to let your Tenant and Agent to know about and get them to acknowledge by signing it in a written paper.
Be Careful of Shadow Tenant
Shadow Tenants are Tenants who uses a Third-Party Person to rent your place, a type of practice often engaged by Foreigners who wants to rent your place but are blacklisted either by the Building Operator or the Community themselves. While not all Shadow Tenants are bad, the contract is often between you and the Third-Party and not the real Tenant so can be a nuisance if a disagreement arises. If you met with the wrong kind of Tenant, the procedure to ask them to vacate your place can be costly and troublesome.
When engaging an Agent, there are few collections such as Earnest Deposit (or Booking Fees), Security Deposit and Utility Fees. All these fees should be paid directly in cash or to the Agent’s name but should be to the Real Estate Agency themselves. Never trust an Agent no matter how long they are in the industry.
Among the money collected, the one that mostly taken directly by Agents are the Earnest Deposit whereby some Tenants directly paid cash for them in return that the Agents issue a receipt directly. Unfortunately, many of these Agents are not even representing any company as claimed they are from. The best thing is to avoid paying directly to any Individual but to the company instead. Make sure too that the company exist but checking it and calling the company.
Tenancy “Agreeable” Agreement?
Subject to the property, if your Property has high rental value it is always good to engage a solicitor to read through at the agreement despite prepared by the Agent. If you already have a Tenancy Agreement that you are comfortable with, you should use that. Remember that the Agent has no legal rights over the Agreement should any dispute arise. They may prepare the documents for you, but that is just as far as it gets.
Also, always discuss beforehand on the amount cost in preparing a Tenancy Agreement as some Agents do charge you higher “fixed rates” than actual cost in preparing a Tenancy Agreement. This of course are subject to your generosity but never necessary. Finally, there are instances whereby Stamp-Duty can be accidentally calculated wrongly. Well, it happens. So it is good to allow some payment adjustment in case your Agent accidentally miscalculated. You can click here to learn more about the calculation.