6 Tips When Looking For Rental Property In Lusaka
Here are 6 tips when looking for rental property in Lusaka. We hope this saves you time and a potential disaster story in which you’re the victim! Feel free to add to these your own tips in the comment section.
1. Use a real estate agent.
Yes, it sounds biased coming from an agency right? Truth is however, while some people think searching for the right rental property is easy and do not see the value that the right agent brings, many end up getting a bad deal! The right agent will ensure your best interests are achieved and give proper advice where needed. They will help you negotiate the terms of lease and ensure your needs are met satisfactorily. The right agent will carry out proper checks to ensure you are dealing with vetted property owners to avoid petty scams common with some rental property in Lusaka. In addition…it is also key to use one agent at a time to avoid confusion as most agents actually all work closely and communicate regularly. You may need to change agents only in the case where you feel your agent is incompetent or simply doesn’t get what you are looking for.
2. Set a proper budget!
What is your planned budget? Common and annoying question correct? Well, if you will be working with the right agent, it is essentially a KYC question from your agent. It is key to give your agent an indication of a budget range that you are comfortable with. Simply state from the start that you’d prefer price options even below budget if possible so your agent can assist in meeting your needs. A common mistake sometimes is believing your agent will push budgets higher or above your stated budget hence inflating your expenses. This may be true if you are using the wrong agent – so getting started with the right agent is KEY here! Your agent should offer full guidance of realistic market prices to expect and then discuss with you on what is feasible and within your budget. This saves both the agent’s and your time as the agent then brings you only properties that are within your budget.
Key things to remember when searching for rental property in Lusaka is that property owners will typically ask for a month’s rent as security deposit plus three or two months’ rent upfront as an initial rental payment. Besides these, you may also need to budget for monthly expenses like water and power utilities, garbage collection, security guard costs, garden and house help costs and so on if applicable. So, it is a good idea to work out what logically works for you in a BUDGET! Not sure of how to set your budget? Get in touch, click HERE.
3. Sign a written rental agreement – not verbal agreements!
Yes, trust and keeping your word is important but the last thing you want is confusion and unnecessary discussions during your stay. Always ensure you enter into a written rental agreement, signed and witnessed by you, your agent and the property owner. The rental agreement is usually provided by the property owner and this is edited to reflect the terms agreed upon on a case by case basis with each tenant. Looking for a rental agreement to use and edit? Get in touch with us, we’ll be glad to help!
4. Take account of Withholding Tax matters.
Previously little thought of when dealing with residential rental property, now, every rental property has to ensure compliance with regards to withholding tax on rental property. It is key to discuss how this will be handled beforehand so everyone is clear as to what amount is tax due, what amount is rentals due and who will make due payments to the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA).
5. Negotiate terms of lease.
Sometimes, tenants may not be familiar with some key clauses to watch out for in the lease agreement and simply sign without negotiating terms. This later usually ends in trouble and misunderstandings that are unnecessary. A few examples include rental increments, lease terminations, lease renewal conditions, security deposit refunds and so on. These all need some careful thought and it is a good idea to have your agent go through and check for terms that may need some adjustments to suit your particular case – more especially for expatriate tenants.
6. Inspect property and report small defeats.
Small defeats can sometimes get worse over time and the last thing you need are repair works when you have already moved into a property. For the property owner, it will save them some potentially huge costs if repair works are reported in time. It is therefore always key to report small defects in time.
Need help finding rental property in Lusaka? Let’s chat, use any of the platforms on the contact button on our website or simply get chatting with us right away on WhatsApp messenger, click HERE to get assisted.