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Long Term Rentals: Preparing Your Contract

In one of Vestor.Estate previous articles, we wrote about essential tips for the rental search to help you get rid of suspicious options and settle with the safest one.

When the apartment is chosen, and all documentary is checked, your next step is negotiations and signing the contract. In this article, we would share some of the tips to write the agreement working for you.

A competently composed contract includes all the necessary specifications and resolves most of the disputable questions arising during the lease period

When it comes to the signing, certain areas should be defined explicitly in your rental agreement so you can avoid misunderstandings in the future. First of all, it should be a dual language agreement to make it convenient for both you and the landlord – usually, the contracts provided are written in Ukrainian and English, but it also depends on the lessee and lessor.

As there is no legal requirement in Ukraine to put security deposits in escrow, the landlord may not have the funds to return it when you move out. That is why it will be a good idea to include a clause that the security deposit can be used for the last month’s rental payment.

It is an ordinary matter in the agreements to allow tenants to move out, giving 30 or 60 days notice, but you can also include clarification to oblige the lessor to return any unused, pro-rated rent. At the same time,  landlords sometimes try to add amendments that require lessees to pay for repainting or deep cleaning of their apartments. You and your real estate agent should resist the inclusion of such terms unless the cases where it can be applicable, are specified as well.

If you pay in cash, it will be reasonable to ask for a signed receipt from your landlord every time you pay the rent to exclude the case when the landlord demands repayment of the lease. If your landlord requires payments for damages, an increase of fees, or anything other than rent, you need to contact a lawyer for advice.

Some of the tenant rights written in a contract are pretty standard. They have the right to dwell someone permanently with the consent of the lessor or to lodge them temporarily, with prior notification of the owner. Tenant also has the advantageous right to sign or extend the agreement for a new period and to sublease the property (with the lessor’s permission).

Obligations for tenants mentioned in the written agreements are also straightforward.  You can’t renovate the flat, put something on the walls, or remove anything without the landlord’s approval. You are obliged to make timely payments for rent and utilities (unless the owner is the one to pay for them according to agreement).  It is necessary to mention all persons who will be residing with you in the apartment, and they have similar rights and obligations regarding the use of the property. You are the one to carry out the maintenance unless otherwise conditioned in the contract.

A competently composed contract includes all the necessary specifications and resolves most of the disputable questions arising during the lease period. However, this is a normal thing that situations not described in the agreement occur.  If a disagreement with the lessor arises, it is better to resolve it with negotiations. At this point, signing the annex to the main agreement with new clauses would be the right decision.

In all the ways, your negotiation skills and accuracy play a significant role in the agreement signing process.  But we do understand it is not that simple – it can be time-consuming and requires many people to be engaged in the process sometimes. No matter what you decide – to do it yourself or to get rid of all the peculiarities of the negotiation process and let the professionals take care of it, you need to make sure your rights are protected, and you leave yourself space for maneuvers.