Rental Contracts

What you need to know

Rental Contracts

It’s usual for the rental contract to be drawn up with the owner of the property using your sponsor as the principal.

There are a number reasons for this:

  • Long-term contracts are usually for a one-year period, while short-term ones are from one month upwards. With a transient expatriate population, owners prefer to deal with a permanent citizen of their country, i.e. your sponsor, in case there are disputes to be resolved.
  • Contracts usually call for advance payment, one or two cheques being issued, one of which is post-dated six months ahead. In the case of employees, the standard practice is for their employers to make the rental payments and then deduct monthly sums from the employee’s wages.
  • If the contract has to be terminated early, responsibility for doing so lies with the principal, which is, of course, in the interest of the expatriate. The owner might insist on his finding a replacement tenant, which can be difficult; your sponsor will be able to exert more influence with the owner than you would, particularly if the sponsor is a regular renter.

Note that changing your accommodation mid-contract is always tricky, so you should choose your accommodation carefully in the first place to avoid the necessity to move.

In most rental contracts, there’s a standard clause about returning the property in a reasonable condition, allowing for normal wear and tear. Any losses or damage must be made good. Anti-social behaviour such as noise or abuse of property will probably mean eviction. Expatriates are usually well-behaved, knowing that their hosts have little tolerance of bad or criminal behaviour.


Furnished apartments are equipped with a wide range of goods, usually of reasonable quality. A copy of the inventory will be provided with the contract and items checked when you leave, with charges made for damage or losses. The return of your deposit depends on whether or not the property is left in good order.

Further reading

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