Apartment hunting can be daunting, especially in a different country. Our aim is to make sure that you feel as conﬁdent as possible when you start your journey. Let’s take a look at some of the most important factors to consider before signing your lease. Inspecting the contract thoroughly before signing it, is a crucial step when house hunting. Ask the agent to have the contract translated so that you know exactly what you’re getting into. Ask as many questions as you can, note down an essentials list take it with you when you go for viewings and make sure you consult said list during the viewings. More speciﬁcally, what you need to inquire about when it comes to contract speciﬁcs, in my humble opinion, are as follows;
The start date is important because this is the date you will be paying rent, so make sure it is the beginning of the month, not the day you ﬁnancially bind yourself to the contract. I mention this because Ziroom letting agents (blog regarding agents to follow) offer accommodation with a digital keypad, this offers an unprecedented level of peace of mind as you won’t have to worry about forgetting your keys. However, his little keypad will develop amnesia until you pay what you owe. EF pays us on “the last day of each calendar month” Hence, if the start date of your housing contract is earlier you may have issues. Although, this issue will only come to fruition if you rent with Ziroom and fail to pay rent on time. Even if you rent with freelance agents you will have to ensure you pay your rent on time, so make sure the start date is after payday.
What is included with the rent? This has to be most pertinent question of all. The more you get with you rent the more convenient it will be for you. Conﬁdence is key try to negotiate as much as possible, of course before you dive in head ﬁrst into negotiations you need to be aware of what’s on offer. This will also depend on your lifestyle, if you like to cook, make sure that the appliances in the kitchen are adequate etc. The main things to worry about are gas, and electricity, water and most importantly Wi-Fi, you can take it a step further and ask for a more comfortable desk chair but don’t push your luck, read the mood. Don’t worry, you won’t have to negotiate all the time, this is only mentioned so that you are aware that there’s leeway. Additionally, bills that are not included with the rent the agent will show you how to pay for them.
For the purposes of this blog, decoupling is separating your lease from your ﬂatmates. It is advisable to have a separate lease, because if your lease is joined with your new friends this will mean if one of your fails to make the rent on time everyone will be affected. As a result, you may end up having make contributions to avoid getting into disagreements with your landlord. For instance, Jean, Mary and Joseph decide to be housemates because they got along really well during their regional induction. Joseph decided to visit his family back in Amsterdam, during his trip there was an outbreak and China closed the borders. Joseph soon realized he was not going to be coming back before his contract with EF ended so Joseph decided that he was not coming back so he stopped paying rent. To avoid being kicked out by their landlord Mary and Jean had to pay the rent on behalf of Joseph. The trick is not to be blinded by the excitement, admittedly it is very ﬂattering when you meet people in your intake group that want to be live with you. Try to keep be very receptive and think about your future.