With more and more people looking for houses for rent in Karachi, it is important to be familiar with the related processes and rules (both written and unwritten). This also includes ending your lease the right way.
As the end date of your tenancy period draws near, there are a number of important tasks and decisions involved. It is not just as simple as packing up your stuff and moving out; there are some key obligations as a tenant that you should carry out first. Graana.com has highlighted a few of these for you below.
Get your living situation in order.
First and foremost, decide your plans for the future. For some, it may be easier and more convenient to continue staying at your current rental if you are comfortable in the space and have developed a good understanding with your landlord. Be sure to do your research first: will you be able to afford the rent in future as well? Are you seeking a new place to serve different needs? What are the potential moving costs?
In such circumstances, you need to inform your landlord much beforehand that you wish to renew your lease. It may be so that they would want to change some terms of the tenancy in which case, only sign the new contract after you have tried negotiating and are content with the arrangement. Always make sure you are reading the fine print, even if you are just renewing a contract. If the new terms are not agreeable to you, you would at least have enough time to look for a new place.
Inform your landlord in advance that you are moving out.
The terms of a rental agreement holds immense importance in real estate. In some rental agreements, it is already stated how many days notice you must give to your landlord before moving out. Be sure to comply with that time period, otherwise you may be obligated to pay another months rent (along with bills), you might lose your security deposit or you might even face a lawsuit from your landlord. Plus, if your next potential rental unit requires you to give a reference first, you would not be able to count on your landlord for one.
On the other hand, if you communicate your plans to your landlord on time, he/she could be convinced to come to an agreement about you leaving before your tenancy period ends. In these cases, usually a fee is involved. Be sure to ask for this to be put in writing so you can refer back to what was said in case there are any problems later on.
Even if a set time period has not been defined, you should still notify your landlord as soon as you have made your decision to not renew your contract, so he/she has ample time to look for a new tenant instead of being left in the lurch. They may also require a written notice from you about your new moving date.
Tidy up your place.
A clean rental history requires a clean place first. While it may be tempting to just leave the clean-up duty to the next person moving in, it would still be courteous to leave the premises in a reasonably good state. Ideally, it should be similar to the condition that it was in at the start of your lease, for example, with bare, unfurnished interior. Make any minor repairs to the damage that you may have caused. If possible, also remove any installations that you made. Your landlord may even visit for inspection before you move out, so be prepared in advance.
Document the state of your home.
It is advised to take pictures or videos of your apartments condition (including each nook and corner) in case your landlord falsely claims damages after you have moved out. These would be able to serve as solid proof later on.
Usually, it is recommended to note down the existing damages of your place when you first move in so you can ensure that they are not listed as reasons for deductions in your security deposit when you move out.
Pay your bills.
Be sure to pay your dues before you leave e.g. bills for gas, electricity, internet etc. Also keep a record of the last paid bill to avoid any discrepancies later. Remember to cancel any subscriptions you have made as well, so that you are not charged for those after you have moved out.
Return your keys.
Some landlords charge you for keeping copies of the house key past the due date, so remember to hand them over before you move out.
Confirm your contact details/new home address.
Depending on the rental agreement between both parties, your landlord may want your details to return your security deposit after you move out. Similarly, if there is anything that needs to be forwarded to you (like possessions that you forgot behind, subscriptions, mail etc.), it is best to give out your new address just in case.
For more information and helpful guides, visit Graana to address your real estate concerns.