Renting an apartment or villa can be a tedious work for expat due to their busy lives and job, so planning in advance is really important to rent an appropriate home for you and have a peace of mind. In this blog, I would like to share my experience which may benefit you.
I have been living in UAE since 2010 and recently moved to KSA. There is a big difference in hunting for a home here as compared to UAE and I will write a separate blog for that.
Location or Area of the proposed rented home is very important. If you are planning to live with a family, you must choose an area where similar families are living. This will help your family to jell together with the community. You shall also consider factors such as school, supermarket, bakery and most importantly availability of car parking. In some areas, finding a car parking is the biggest challenge and I have seen people who just park the car after coming from office and try to avoid going outside with family as they will not be able to find a car parking if they return late
Commuting to and from office shall be considered top priority during the selection of new residence. You shall consider the traffic on the roads during your travel time. You can get the help of your friends who are living in that area. You can also use google map to see average traffic at the time of your travel. This can be done by searching the destination in google map and then instead of your location, provide the location of the new residence. Select “Depart at” instead of ” leave Now” in option and turn on the traffic. You will see the predicted daily traffic and alternate route as shown on the map here. Personally, I will not select an area where I have to face traffic daily
Though many times, apartments are being rented directly from the owner, however, one should make sure to have properly written agreement. You shall ask for rent, the tenure of the rent and when the rent will be increased. Generally, the contract is made on basis of Hijri Calendar which means you will be losing almost 10 days every year. If you are not comfortable with this, you must ask to change it. You must also ask about other charges e.g. Water Charges, Drainage Charges, maintenance charges etc
Since January 2018 cost of electricity has increased about three times and shared meter can dent your pocket heavily. You must clarify if your apartment has a separate meter or not as electricity tariff has different slabs and it increases with the increase in consumption. Supposed that three families are sharing a meter and overall consumption is 7000 KWH, as per the new tariff bill be around SAR 2100 however if they have a separate meter and consume 2500KWH each, the individual bill will be SAR 450. I have used large figures to show the difference
You shall inspect the house carefully and take necessary photographs if required. List down all the maintenance required and get it done through Landlord. You must not do it by yourself as the landlord may not pay you back. If you miss any maintenance or repair, the landlord will surely deduct the money from your deposit at the end of contract even though you were not responsible for that. You must insist on new paint as at the time of vacating, landlord will demand money for the pain from you
In most of the newly built apartment I visited, rooms are very small. In some cases, if you put a king size bed and cupboard, you hardly have any space to roam around. Old buildings have big rooms though their condition is very poor.
You must choose apartment where proper circulation of air is possible and make sure that all rooms have windows
Look around the building and notice how much attention is being paid to general cleanliness. Similarly, you should try to find a building where some sort of security measures have been taken e.g CCTV Cameras, Watch Man etc.
If your apartment is on an elevated floor, you shall check the condition of the elevator as it will be very difficult to use stairs always.
In summary, you shall consider all the risks and advantages carefully before making final decisions. It will be ideal situation to find all good things in an apartment and its neighborhood, however, one should thrive for best possible apartment