Rental General information
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Property rentals are pretty straight forward and you should always obtain a written lease or rental agreement done in duplicate, with one copy being for each party to the agreement. It’s a good ideal to have a witness also be a signatory on your behalf within the completed written agreement in general.
You will find many commercial real-estate firms available which are ready to facilitate your local property search expect to be shown high end rentals. Do to the general commission structure of the local market and the general perception that all foreigners have un-limited funds.
It's been a customary practice over the centuries within Egyptian society to pay some form of a finder's fee to the individual, firm, agent or entity which located the property for you and helped close the deal. The recent norms established within Egypt are tied to historical practices. A payment equal to one months rent is the established norm.
You should understand you can and should try to split this expected fee with the property owner directly and never prepay a finder's fee when trying to locate a property.
I would ask about the under counter installation of a reverse osmosis water filtration system. If you will have children present and utilizing water along with fulfilling the daily kitchen requirements. You will find the local population split of the quality of water issue, many just assume it's safe for use or that no other affordable option is available.
You will most likely be asked to pay three or four month's as initial fees when you sign your agreement. First and last months rent and one or two months as security for any potential damages which may be claimed by the owner.
You should expect to be asked for ten percent a year as a normal increase. You should also try to negotiate a lower total percentage increase on a yearly basis and request a longer contract term based on your known period of stay in Egypt. This point should also be included in your rental contract. Many real-estate or property owners prefer foreign nationals as tenants as many are perceived to take better care of material items which belong to others.
As a rule it's good to ask about the services you need or want in any of the prospective properties that you are or will consider renting. Always ask so no issue arises later during the process. I would ask about natural gas, electric, internet service provider, satellite television service, water and telephone with international services if needed. I would ask if any businesses are located in the building do to the related parking issues which routinely arise.
Be sure to enquire and or look for fire extinguishers, small pressurized aerosol can type extinguishers are locally available for a really reasonable price. It’s a good practice to have a couple on hand just for you own emergency use along with a flash light.
You should expect to discover some owners that just tell you no about any rental contract wording or request you may have. This group of owners has been pre-programmed, over the years to treat tenants as and ongoing pool of funds for use only.
Don't panic or become pressured, when you discover this process may require some time and effort take your time and continue your search you will find something suitable for use at a fair price. From one of the many decent people that Egypt is home to. Try to use any friends or contacts that already have a place similar to what you're looking for during your search, if the rental fees are within your target price range. They may have some insight or knowledge of and available apartment. That is only being advertised by word of mouth. Via the local social networking that normally occurs during the daily living processes. Many decent flats and apartments are rented thru this networking process which is based on solid affiliations and good personal relationships.
Make sure this rental agreement covers and outlines all the pre-existing damage you discover which the owner claims he'll fix after you make a payment or when you sign the agreement. Please never just take a persons word when it comes to money or contract wording. If they refuse to have the items outlined in the agreement it's probably better you forget about this property.
The rental agreement should include language that specifically covers who is responsible for maintenance and repairs of major appliance items which pre exist and are semi fixed to the building or apartment.
The rental agreement should not define and old visibly used flat as "like new or new" the use of this wording will only predispose you to a claim against your security deposit and or require you make everything like new to obtain your deposit.
Some owners will define the property as being rented empty even though it contains some furnishings for your use, this really means you're responsible for any and all repairs that are not separately outlined in the rental agreement along with all the utilities.
You should expect to make lots of small repairs on your own to leaky faucets, burnt out light switches, cabinet handles or hinges and toilets which seem to run continually.
I recommend when asking about property rentals in your selected area of Cairo that you try to keep it simple and think about the space you need in the context of bedrooms. Use the number of total bedrooms you will really need for your living needs. Then add one extra if you want a home office space and maybe another if you need a guest room. All the other apartment areas will most likely grow proportionately as bedrooms are added. Bathrooms will also be added based on the total of bedrooms, one of the extra bathrooms can be used for a laundry area most likely.
Almost all apartments or flats contain a minimum of one and one half baths as a starting point, a kitchen area and a reception, which is normally the largest area in the flat. which is used to entertain your guest and most flats will likely have two bedrooms as a minimum.
Most of the older flats and apartments have smaller kitchen areas. If you like and need a decent size kitchen area with plenty of space you need to be upfront about this requirement or other specific needs when you begin your search.
Tell all the people or resources you are utilizing for searching on your behalf, you only want to see flats that met your minimum space and or other requirements and have some working utilities such as water and electric. Often the natural gas is shut off when the flats are left setting empty over a long period of time but make sure you look for and see the gas meter for the apartment. The meters are quite often located inside of the apartment. If you don't see a meter you really do need to ask, because the area you're looking in may still use bottled gas which is a real pain to deal with.
Upper level floors are often found empty due to the exposure to direct heat from the sun and the related cost to cool the area during the summer. Ground level floors which are really the first floor above ground level (unless it’s a villa) are also often empty in many buildings due to the proximity to the street and the related noise, the false perception of exposure to bugs and animals and the fear of being easily robbed.
If you're coming to work here and your firm has a local office already established, they should and will most likely help navigate you safely thru this effort within your budget.
If you're pursuing this effort on your own as an individual or for a firm, you should really plan to take a couple of weeks to locate a place that’s both decent, affordable and located conveniently for a more comfortable long term living arrangement if your budgeting allows.
If you're coming for a term longer then one year, it's worth the effort to do some quick calculations for the cost of new kitchen and or electronic items and furnishing the empty flat Vs the cost of a furnished flat of the same size located within the same general area. This exercise will help you understand the daily cost of the furnished items. These items if purchased can easily be sold for half of the initial value, when you're ready to depart with some pre-planning and if you selected decent quality items to begin with. Assuming the items are only two or three years old, remains in good working condition and are presentable with all the original documents.
I highly recommend that all Person's which will be expatriated to Egypt for a period of time in excess of one year, and has a decent Per Diem or Housing and or Living allowance along with a transportation element run the numbers then decide what reasoned course of action is best to follow.
You may find it necessary or beneficial due to time and language constraints to use a local person or firm to facilitate your initial incoming purchasing and furnishing efforts in a reasonable amount of time.
The cost of renting a flat or apartment in a multi family building should really contain two elements which result in a monthly total. The smallest component will be for the general shared building maintenance, cleaning services, hallway and garage lighting and may include a doorman's salary and trash services in some areas of Cairo. This money you will need to pay but "it should not be counted as part of the monthly rental fee" in the lease or rental agreement as they are two separate issues.
You should always prior to signing any agreements or making a deposit, be sure to obtain the latest bills or invoices for all the unities your expected to pay for the apartment or property you are looking at. These invoices are easily verified as being currently paid based on the meter numbers name and address. It's important to verify all services are current and available for this property.
Guide section: Accommodation
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