Renting a property should be easier than purchasing it, at least in theory. Difficulties may arise for a foreign citizen, unfamiliar with the Romanian language, legislation and practices regarding the lease contract.
In order to avoid the inconveniences that may appear during this process, here are some things to keep in mind:
Be aware of these steps before actualy signing the contract
First, you should speak with the landlord and mention that you will probably need the lease agreement to register the contract and your residency at the immigration authority. This is especially valid for non-EU citizens, as you need to present a copy of the contract, with a mention on it that your landlord allows you to stay there. This advice might be useful in a situation where the landlord either do not register the contract or menton that they want an increased fee.
So, to avoid these kind of difficulties, request the documents from him. Also, do note that this will protect you against an eventual eviction, even if you’re not an EU citizen.
Be careful who signs the contract
In other words, check if this person is really the owner or a person legally authorized by him. It often happens that the person renting is a friend or relative of the landlord who takes care of the apartment, which could cause future problems.
How can you do these checks? The safest option is to ask for the deed of the property which frequently is a sale-purchase agreement. You have to notice if the one who is renting to you is the same person mentioned on the deed. Otherwise, ask for a power of attorney to confirm whether he has the right to conclude the contract or not!
Check the condition of the apartment before renting it
There are many contracts that do not provide a comprehensive description of the apartment, so you may end up refunding more than necessary to the landlord or not getting back your deposit!
You need a detailed contract, which includes a clause describing the furniture, household items and, eventually, if they have any problems or show any signs of damage. As a tenant, the Romanian law offers you the right to receive the apartment with all its accessories, in a condition suitable for its use. The owner also has the obligation to guarantee against its defects even if he did not know them when signing the contract, because he has the duty to ensure an appropriate use throughout the lease!
Not all the utilities are included in rent
Additional expenses generated by the use of the apartment, such as maintenance, lighting, internet, etc. they are your responsibility, and their payment method must be set out in the contract. As a tenant, you will have the duty to monitor and pay monthly for these utilities, either to the homeowners association, as in the case of maintenance, or directly to suppliers, as is the case with the internet and gas, for example.
Also, consider keeping receipts or other payment evidence to avoid any inconvenience. This obligation must be taken seriously, whereas, if there are significant or repetitive problems with the payment of utilities, the owner has more steps at hand, from using the deposited money to ending the contract!
Check the person you are renting from
It is essential to interact as transparently as possible with the landlord. Find out if he has had any foreign expats and how was their relationship, if there have been certain things he disliked about using the apartment or even in the relationship between former tenants and neighbors, if he has any other request, for example on carrying out visits to check the condition of the property, or on sharing the cost of repairs.
Regarding the latter, according to Romanian law, small repairs are the responsibility of the tenant, and larger ones are the responsibility of the landlord. In order to avoid these ambiguous terms, it is advisable to set a maximum amount of repairs that are considered to be of lesser importance and to be borne by the tenant, so that those that exceed this amount will have to be carried out by the owner.
A detailed lease contract, drafted in clearly terms, an efficient communication with the apartment owner are the key elements in the smooth running of contractual relations between the parties. Considering the presented tips, you will be able to avoid any inconvenient, which may occur both at the conclusion and during the contractual period.
Legal Intern R&R Partners Bucharest
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