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Opinions of Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Columnist: Kofi Nyarko/Rent Officer

Renting your first or next apartment in Ghana

Finding your first or next apartment is an exciting milestone. You finally have a space all your own to do whatever you want. The hunt can be overwhelming and stressful.

Go through the steps below to find your space.

Figure out how much you can afford: Experts recommend only spending between 25%-35% of your after-tax income on rent and housing. So let’s say your pay after taxes is Gh 1,500 a month. Ideally, you shouldn’t pay more than Gh 525 a month on rent.

If you can’t find a place within your budget, consider getting a roommate.
Create criteria for your ideal apartment: What are you looking for in an apartment? Do you want a single room or a studio or a two bedroom apartment?

Write down whatever comes to your mind. While you might not be able to get everything on your apartment wish list, it will definitely help in narrowing down the possibilities.

Identify potential apartments. With your list of criteria in hand, hop online and other online portals and start searching for apartments.

Set aside a day to visit your potentials: You’ll want to visit your potential rental units in person to see their condition or visit the units with your agent. Make this process as efficient as possible by visiting as many of your potentials as you can in a single day.

Be ready to pay an agent fee: Some agents may require you to pay an agent fee for viewing. The fee should be in the GH20-GH50 range; anything more and you’re probably getting ripped off.

Check for problems and ask questions. As you walk through the apartment, checks, but again, don’t broadcast your concerns right away. While you should keep small concerns to yourself, feel free to ask the agent or landlord any questions you might have that will help in your decision.

Sign the Rental Agreement: After you have successful secure a place the landlord or agent will ask you sign a tenant’s agreement. Make sure you paying to the landlord with a witness and the agent also been the landlord witness, if you used an agent in your search.

Good luck to you as you find your new space