Ida para a Universidade: A que devo atentar num contrato de arrendamento?

Heading to the University: What should I pay attention to in a lease agreement?

Going to University is an exciting phase in the life of any young person. But for those who embark on an adventure and go to study in a new city, it is necessary to find a property to settle in during the academic year. And if the choice is renting a house, it is important to pay attention to some precautions before signing the lease. But which ones?

11 Aug 20235 min

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Need help with this leasing process? The real estate agency Casa no Minuto can help you find your property. And the credit intermediaries of Poupança no Minuto are also here to help you with financing, for example, through a credit for students or personal. If you need information first, we will explain what you should pay attention to in this article.

Precautions to take before renting a property

The first thing to consider when looking for a property to rent is the location where you want to stay. It is advantageous to be close to the University you will be studying at, or, if that is not possible, at least to be near transportation that will take you to the establishment or easily accessible roadways (if you choose to drive).

Then, if the goal is to share the house with colleagues, consider the typology question. That is, if the property is for you and two more colleagues, it is important to be a T3. However, if you are going to live alone, in terms of necessity, it can be a T0 or T1, according to your preference.

The same goes for the rental amount: if you are sharing, divide the amount by the total number of inhabitants to understand how much each person will pay. At this point, it is essential to know from the tenant if the monthly installment already includes expenses for water, electricity or telecommunications services.  

Also inquire if the property will be furnished and with appliances. If not, it is an additional cost of the lease (which, if it is a property for more than one tenant, may be split). Ideally, confirm it yourself, and visit the house more than once before renting, to ensure the conditions that the landlord may claim.

You must also check beforehand if the landlord does not put up a barrier if you want to bring a pet to the property. This is because some landlords prohibit the presence of animals, especially dogs, in their properties for fear of subsequent deterioration (especially if furnished). And, legally, they can do this because there is no legal rule preventing them. However, it is always possible to question and refute the landlord's decision, directly or even in court.  

Factors to pay attention when renting the property.

When advancing with the lease contract, there are also some factors to consider.  

Once you have decided on the property you are going to rent, before signing the contract, consider carrying out a property inspection. This type of service aims to evaluate if the property has any discrepancies. In the end, a report is issued with the possible discrepancies, which can be very useful in a rental contract.

By attaching this report to the contract, you ensure that any damages that were already present in the property are not later attributed to your use of the house at the end of the lease, for example.

Regarding expenses for services, it should not only be clarified who pays, but also should be written in the contract. If it does not end up as a contractual clause, know that the law must be followed: article 1078 of the Civil Code, which clarifies that expenses related to goods or services must be covered by the tenant and expenses related to common areas of the house are the responsibility of the landlord.

Works and property modifications: These can be carried out as long as there is an agreement between the tenant and the landlord. As a rule, the works are carried out by the owner and at his expense, but if the tenant wishes to do so and the landlord authorizes it, it is also possible. However, it is always important for the authorization to be recorded in writing in the contract. The changes may be related, for example, to decoration that affects the structure of the house, such as making holes in the wall to hang pictures: this should also only be done in an authorized and recorded manner.

At the time of leasing the property, be aware that the landlord requests a security deposit, usually the amount of one monthly rent. This is to ensure that, in case any situation occurs where the property is damaged, there is a guarantee for repairs. In terms of guarantees, the landlord may also ask for a guarantor associated with the contract, to ensure the rent payments are met.

Finally, be aware that it is mandatory for the landlord to issue receipts for the rents that must appear in the Portal das Finanças.

Get information on cessation deadlines beforehand 

This is an important point when renting a house, because there are legal deadlines that must be met to give notice in advance if you want to terminate the contract before its expiration. The same goes for the landlord.  

The contract can be terminated by resolution, termination or other causes provided for in the law, article 1079 of the Civil Code.

And the respective deadlines also depend on the type of contract: contract with a fixed term or without a fixed term.

To terminate the contract, there is also a specific procedure: you must do it via registered letter, with the identification of the sender, the recipient, and the reason for the resignation. Note: you must keep a copy of the letter and registry as proof.

Let's find your rental property? Contact Casa no Minuto to find the right home for you, close to the University you will be studying at. If you see that you cannot meet all the expenses that this phase of life implies, and need help, consider a student loan or personal loan: the credit intermediaries from Poupança no Minuto can help you throughout the process.

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