WHAT TO CHECK BEFORE RENTING A PROPERTY IN EGYPT
Finding an Apartment|5.3 MIN READ|Updated on: 07 October 2023|Written by: Mohamed Hassan
Once you have found the right property for you, try to investigate and get into more detail, you can be surprised by the outcome. Most people focus on the location of the rental property, the neighborhood, and amenities but it’s also important to make sure that the rental unit itself is what you are looking for and set certain expectations to be met.
Whether you have been through a horrible rental experience such as an eviction, or real estate agents that are not as they first seemed, a great rental experience starts with checking everything you need to know about the property before you actually sign the contract and deposit your first payments.
Typically, there is a real estate agent or a landlord of the rental unit that would usually present the property to potential tenants. Once there is a tenant that would be interested, before going into any rental agreement, there is usually an inspection report.
This would be useful to both parties to make notes of any damages, repairs, or wear and tear that needs to be notified. You should also consider that most rental agreements have a clause that states that the premise can be viewed/shown to potential tenants by the end of the rental duration period which is usually agreed upon to be the last two or one month remaining in the contract.
If a rental inspection report is not in the process, in most cases the landlord will not remember which damages existed in the property before your check-in date, which can cause both parties to point fingers and play the blame game. In certain cases, when a rental inspection is not used, the landlord can keep the security deposit just for damages/repairs that were not on your behalf.
This article will mention a few aspects to consider before renting a property for a long rental duration.
WALLS, FLOORS, AND CARPETS
When first entering a residential rental property, one of the many things most people would notice would be the floors, walls, and carpets if any.
It is normal for the walls to have a few small holes, cracks, or nails from the current or previous tenant, or for the hardwood to have a few scratches.
You should look out for the major and more obvious damages such as large holes in the walls and possible stains and damages that are harmful in the long run.
If there is anything that you suspect can cause trouble, it would be best to be mentioned it to the representing real estate agent or the landlord, which in this case, can be documented with photographs representing the current state of the issue.
CHECK THE WINDOWS / LIGHTS
When viewing rental properties, most people prefer to view the properties in the morning to see the natural light within the unit but seem to forget to check the light switches and make sure all is operating smoothly.
If light switches don’t seem to work or light bulbs need to be replaced within the fixtures, it will also be a good time to check with the landlord to see who is responsible to replace them.
WATER USAGE AND PRESSURE
Make sure both water temperatures are fully operational as well as the water pressure shall be working smoothly without any interruptions.
This is obviously one of the main aspects that can either be forgotten or ignored due to the fact that certain properties can actually be viewed a month in advance which can make the potential tenant hesitant out of respect for the current tenant that will be moving out.
Certain potential tenants can feel embarrassed or hold back certain aspects of the apartment due to personal belongings. Feel free to ask what is necessary in the case that the current tenant is still residing where you would know that the current tenant has no benefit to tell you any lies.
CHECK ALL ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES AND THAT ALL FUNCTION CORRECTLY
Just like the bathrooms, you might forget about turning on the oven or checking the temperature of the refrigerator in the kitchen to make sure these appliances work. You will need to double-check the following appliances to make sure nothing is left untold such as:
Air Conditioning Units
Oven / Stove
Washing Machine / Dryer
SAFETY EQUIPMENT / EXITS
When residing in Egypt for a long time as an ex-pat, you will notice that many residents take caution to the wind without any security precautions. It is quite the same with rental properties considering safety concerns.
For example, choosing to rent a property that has no fire exit security stairs, can be a hazard in case of emergency. Certain buildings can be old and not even have elevator access which means there's only one path which can be a risk depending on the floor where the property you choose to rent.
Check the orientation of each property, you might think this is a hoax but it’s actually a very important factor many people do not take into consideration.
The property orientation can affect the temperature of a home and access to sunlight throughout various times of the day. Nature can also play a factor considering that during the winter the leaves will fall which can allow sunlight at certain times of the day as well.
7. ONE-MONTH TRIAL PERIOD
Renting as either an ex-pat or a local in Egypt, many contracts can look different and even have missing clauses. Renting directly to the irresponsible owner or dealing with a nonprofessional real estate agent, you will find that this clause is not found due to lack of experience which can cost you a lot if you are in communication with either one.
The “One Month Trial Period” is a clause that should be mentioned in your contract to guarantee your rights as both a tenant/landlord in the case of any malfunctioning appliances during the one month and after. If there are any repairs that need to be made during the first month and it is obviously not misused by the tenant, then these repairs shall be paid by the landlord.
After the first month has been completed and the tenant has used and checked all the appliances, any maintenance or malfunctions in the future during the contract duration shall be paid by the tenant. That is why it is the best option to check all appliances and everything within the property so in case there are any damages, it will not be on behalf of the tenant.