7 Steps to finding that dream apartment to rent in Ghana

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Getting that perfect apartment to rent in Ghana is a very difficult task to deal with and could take alot of time. Often times, this does not come in handy. There are apartments available all over Ghana. Examples of areas may include in East Legon, Madina, Adenta, Kasoa, Santase, Koforidua, Tamale, Takoradi, Ahodwo Nhyiaeso among others. But, not all these rent accommodations are suitable and could serve you well. Here are a few tested steps to consider when searching for that perfect apartment you want to live in.
1. Location

When you think of location, it is good to consider some of these things; where the apartment is? proximit to work, school? availability of certain amenities like pharmacy or clinic or even a hospital. Everyone has specific ideal location they need. Aside the beauty and peaceful serenity of the neighborhood, one has to make the decision right which ascertaining the cost of commuting or the rent. You can’t carry or move the apartment around, you can only relocate when rent expired. Hence, the location must be crucial. It should feet your needs well.

In Accra and Kumasi, the most populated cities in Ghana, consider the flooding issue. Inspect and read a lot about the area during raining seasons. There is a funny cliché “visit the place you want to live during raining season”.! This might be extreme, but you need not to compromise on where to stay during raining season. There will always be raining season. You will need to take a critical look at the drainage system in around the location you are going for rent. When the location is okay by you, then you can decide other factors as well.
2. Budget for rent

How much can you afford for rent? Don’t ‘sweep’ off your account to pay for that specific apartment or room or house because you want to live in that expensive area. In many instances there are other accommodation which will fit your budget perfectly without the discomfort of not having enough left. According to lendkey studies report , you should not spend more than 30% of your monthly salary on rent or annual salary on a 1year advance rent.

As a matter of fact, rent is a major expense which will take a good amount of your salary. Try and select an apartment you can comfortably pay each recurring month. In many instances in Ghana, landlords are into 1 – 2years advance payment. Kindly walk away if you think its beyond your means, because, there are other landlords with flexible payments.

Don’t spend all your money on rent, because, there are utilities to be paid for; water, electricity and possibly waste collection (zoomlion). In many houses offered for rent, you have to paint or fix little little cracks here and there. So, be cautious. This means that you will need to pay for rent and get some money done for these unintended costs.
3. Basic Amenities / Personal Preference

You cannot choose a place to rent without looking at the availability or issues of Electricity, Water supply, Dustbins (for waste), mobile network, internet availability etc. Make some enquiries about these basic amenities or preferecial needs. Check the neighborhood if there are good access to exit and entry; good roads or untarred ones and pathways. The house or apartment with access to good is crucial since, it could be needed during emergencies or daily commuting.

This does not mean, search for an expensive area with all these amenities, but, choose an affordable area with these facilities. Also, having access to internet or data for calls is crucial. Check if the neighborhood have access to these basic but important services. You might not have all the perfect things, but, in a hierarchy of importance make a decision of what is important to you.

You can have a personal preference for size of the house or compound where you want to live. However, this is your sole prerogative.
4. Searching for Rent

This has been critical with those who are not interested in using house agents or have no prior knowledge of the nearest accommodation. You can check around in the specific neighborhood or ask friends. However, one useful and important aspect is to visit the online marketplace. You can also try Tonaton, Jiji or Meqasa. There are a lot of landlords and agents posting houses and accommodation for rent. This could come hand and very important for you to get rent.
5. Security and Safety

one cannot stretch over security this much, but, it’s a very important factor to consider. You don’t want to put your life in danger as well as your properties too. Do a little research about how prone and frequent issues of armed robbery occurs in the area. Also, whether there are enough street lights or people living around to help in time of desperate need. Don’t compromise on security. Check if the area has good routes or nearby police station or a temporal security post.

Before you move in do a few investigations to ascertain how secured the apartment or house to be hired will be. There is no perfect location for risk-averse in terms of robbery or harm caused to lives, but, ensure the place have good routes or nearby security assurance facilities.

Also, check if the house is gated and if not, then the availability of street lights, change all locks when you move in as well.

Safety could also come from the state of the building, make sure, it’s not an old dilapidated house that could pose as a danger to you or your family. Also, check the windows if they are well fitted and safe. Ensure the building structure is in good condition as well, because, your life is much precious.
6. Tenancy Agreement

Read the tenancy agreement properly to find out if the cost of renovation or any issues concerning repairs is the cost of landlord or the tenant. If there is none, try and draft one quickly for all partners to agree to. This is also crucial, before you count money to rent that apartment, room or house make sure you have done due diligence. This is important if you are using an agent. Some of the agents could be dubious in their work. Ensure that the landlord has approved the room, house, or apartment to be vacant. This is to avoid double tenant situations.

Make sure every detail is factored in the tenancy agreement. The date of the rent is important. Also, make sure, the landlord signs the document not the agent. Find out more about certain clauses you are unclear about and ask questions, this will avoid future disagreements.
7. Finalize with payment

After all this due diligence is done, do not waste time on payment if the apartment is right for you to rent. If you do not have the full payment, just let the landlord know and make arrangements to pay the withstanding. However. Make sure the house owner has a process of payment. If possible pay to them directly and deal with any agent later. House owner’s agreement to needs to be properly signed.

One final caution, making payment to agents might bring complications, but with the real owner of the house or apartment you could be much assured of avoiding any form of fraud.

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