Basic renting guide for tenants

PropertyGuru Editorial Team
Determine your requirements
It is important to firstly state your requirement to the agent or when posting on a website when finding a place to rent. It would greatly assist the agent in finding the right place for you. These are a few main criteria which will make it much easier.
  • Budget
  • Location
  • Type of property
  • Size
  • Duration of tenancy
  • Furnished or unfurnished
Rents are generally paid monthly. Besides that, there are initial deposits, which are generally 3 and a half months’ rent. If the rent is too high (over 2.4k RM), a stamp duty fee on the tenancy agreement is also needed.
Factors affecting choice of location:
  • Proximity to work/schools
  • Amenities and facilities such as shopping centres, places of interest, transportation
  • Security of area
  • Prestige e.g Kenny Hills
Type of property
There are two types of property – landed and non-landed.
  • Landed properties are detached, semi-detached, and link houses.
  • Non-landed are condominium units and flats.
Property size
  • Land area
  • Built up area
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Number of bathrooms
  • Reception rooms
  • Size of kitchen
Duration of tenancy
The usual term is one year for locals and two years for expatriates. A shorter tenancy would generally result in higher rent.
Furnished or unfurnished
People who prefer convenience and are not particular about how the place looks should choose a furnished. If it will be a long term stay, an unfurnished place would suit one’s likings better.
Arrange viewings
The main way of finding properties to view is to look through property advertisements either on the internet or the printed press (such as the Star Classifieds or specialist property magazines).
Also, one can drive around the estate to look for potential places to rent. Advertisements might also be there.
If interested, arrange for a viewing. However, one should also inform the agent about your requirements and find out if there are other properties they have which may be suitable. Make sure that the agent clearly knows what you want.
The buyer does not pay the estate agent. Use several agents to view properties. If you rely on only one agent you it will be difficult to know if the properties are fairly priced compared to other properties on the rental market.
What to do during viewings
Note down the property details and your impressions of the properties. It would be better if you take photos. This will make comparing properties easier, especially if there are a lot of viewings.
Do make second viewings to ensure that the property is what you want to rent. Landlords might try to hide certain flaws of the property – windows, taps and appliances. It is important to check the condition of appliances. Check with the landlord what furniture will be provided if you are looking for a furnished property.
Make an offer
Factors affecting price to ask for:
  • Check out rentals for similar properties.
  • Landlord’s circumstances
  • Rent prepared to pay for the property.
  • Interest in the property
  • Previous rejected offers
It would be better to go through your agent for the entire process to avoid misunderstandings.
The rental agreement
When the rental is agreed, you will need to pay for the first month’s rent. When signing the agreement, you will need to pay three and a half months’ rent for security and utilities deposits.
Important components of the rental agreement:
  • Landlord and tenant particulars
  • Address of property
  • Rent
  • Term and commencement date
  • Tenant and landlord covenants
One important clause to include in the agreement is whether the tenant can lengthen the rent at the end of his term there. For expatriates, one will need to include a clause if you are transferred to another country and can end the rental early.
End of the tenancy
At the end of the tenancy, make sure that you give notice to your landlord if it is needed and you do nto want to renew it. Make sure that all bills are paid, furniture and appliances are in the same condition as they were.
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