There are many things to consider when deciding to rent a place to live. If you intend to rent an apartment or a house in Romania, it is important to know what kind of information must be included in the rental contract and the aspects you should carefully review, before you sign it.
In this article, we’ll walk you through some of the most important things you should look out for in your rental agreement, to make sure you understand every aspect of your future accommodation arrangement.
Check all the parties involved are included and sign the rental agreement
This may seem a a simple aspect, but an important topic you must consider. A rental agreement must include, first of all, the names of all the owners, and the tenant. If there are several owners or tenants as part of the renting agreement, it is mandatory that they all appear in the contract. Otherwise, you risk the rental contract to become null. Therefore, make sure that full legal names of all the owners, and of all the tenants in the same time, as well as their address are on the contract.
Check rental start date and termination date
Another thing to check in the rental agreement is that there is clear information regarding the start and end dates of the rental agreement. At the same time, the description of the conditions under which the contract can be terminated should also be clearly reflected. If there are penalty clauses, check whether or not their activation is linked to the termination of the contract. If so, make sure you correctly understand the conditions in which these penalties may be due.
Detailed information on rental conditions
The rent must be specified in the rental contract, preferably in the local currency (RON in Romania). If rent value is agreed in Euro, please carefully check the EUR/RON exchange rate is specified and that it is the Romanian central bank’s official rate. Do not accept signing agreements where the landlord proposes using exchange rate arrangements which you cannot understand.
As a rule, the owners ask for an advance payment, in the form of a guarantee, which is generally the equivalent of the rent for a month. Some landlords could also ask for a higher amount, of 2 or 3 months rental fee. This is actually the security deposit or guarantee, which is a usual payment under a rental contract. The more important aspects to verify are the amount of the security deposit, and the conditions under which it can be returned upon termination of the contract.
All these aspects must be specified in the agreement, and they must be clearly identified, without vague or non-sense clauses that could condition the reimbursement.
If you are a pet lover and own one, let your prospective owner know about it. If you receive its acceptance, please ensure you include this information in the contract.
Verify clauses determining late payment penalties and rent increases
Also, other clauses you should look out for in your rental agreement are the ones describing the conditions for late payment penalties and rent increases. Read these clauses carefully, so that there are no surprises when you fail to pay the rent on time from different reasons.
Verify also the information on conditions for the rent increase, and ensure these conditions are not abusive, and that any rent increase is properly communicated in reasonable time. Checking that all these aspects are stipulated in the contract will significantly reduce any chances of disputes or issues with the landlord later on.
Please be aware that, as per the Romanian legislation, any rent increase agreed between the parties must also be done in writing. Procedurally, this must be done by concluding an amendment to the existing rental contract, and not just verbally.
Methods for rent and utilities payment
Romanian law does not provide for a precise way of paying the rent, leaving it to the agreement between the landlord and the tenant. But, it is advisable that this be stipulated in the contract. Also, another clause you should look out for in your rental agreement is the one establishing the date until which the rent should be paid. Please ensure this is clearly mentioned.
A suitable way of paying the rent is bank transfer. This is recorded and can be easily proven in case of misunderstandings between the owner and the tenant.
As for utilities, they can be paid by either the owner or the tenant. Some landlords pay the utility bills, then get their money back from the tenant, depending on the deal. But no matter the arrangement, this should be stipulated in the contract, to avoid inconvenience.
Repairs and damage to the apartment/house
Before occupying the home and signing the lease, both the owner and the prospective tenant will need to assess the condition of the property. Subsequently, the rental agreement must contain information regarding the responsibilities of the owner and the tenant, regarding any damage caused.
The owner’s right of access in the apartment/house
Another thing to mention and check in the rental agreement is the owner’s right of access to the house. In order to inspect the property, there must be a clause in the contract allowing the owner to do so, but only upon prior notice.
Finally, as a tenant, it is important to also read the clauses usually found towards the end of the lease before signing it. These may include seemingly unimportant things, but it is necessary to know them.
These are some of the important points that you should look out for in your rental agreement, and ensure they will not be generating issues later on. Research them and make sure what you’re signing is okay, to avoid any problems that may arise later. Also, don’t forget to ask for a copy of the rental agreement after everyone involved has signed it.