The 5 things to know before you sign a rental contract
The rental market has undergone a radical transformation in Mauritius in recent years. The information below is provided for information purpose only and it is strongly advised to call upon a professional before engaging in a real estate project.
- The rental contract
A tenancy agreement is an important document that identifies the rights and obligations between the tenant and the landlord. It can be written directly between the landlord and the tenant on plain paper, but the ideal is to obtain a model contract in accordance with the law. If you go through a real estate agency, it will be drafted by the real estate agent. The rental agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties, with each party receiving an original copy.
- The mandatory requirements
- The name and address of the owner or his representative.
- The start date of the rental.
- The duration of the rental.
- The situation of the property and the description (number of rooms, etc.).
- The amount of the rent, the maturity and terms of its settlement, the terms of its revision.
- The amount of the security deposit, often called surety, if provided for.
- Mention of the furniture and its inventory if it is a furnished rental.
- Documents to be attached to the rental contract
- Inspection and inventory.
- If the property is co-owned: extracts from the by-law of co-ownership.
- The certificate of insurance against all rental risks.
- The guarantee document, if it is not an integral part of the lease.
- Details of the real estate agency’s remuneration (in case of an agency intervention).
- Rights and duties of the tenant
Naturally, the tenant has rights and obligations:
- He has the right to enjoy the accommodation without being embarrassed by the owner once the lease is signed.
- The dwelling he rents must be free of any defect, in order to preserve the physical and moral integrity of the tenant,
- Before starting work to improve the dwelling, the owner must request the agreement of his tenant,
- The tenant must pay the rent as well as the charges on the date agreed on the lease,
- He has an obligation to preserve the integrity of the premises he rents, under pain of having to take charge of the repairs,
- On the day of the tenant’s resignation, if the accommodation is returned in perfect condition, he must be able to recover his entire deposit within the period fixed in his contract.
- Renew the rental contract
If the tenant wishes to extend the lease and the landlord agrees, the lease can continue in three ways:
- Maintaining the same conditions: In this case, it is not necessary to establish a new contract. The contract is automatically renewed for 3 years.
By changing the term of the lease: the owner can shorten the renewal period by three years and reduce it to a minimum of one year. The landlord must serve the tenant with his decision at least 6 months before the expiry date of the lease. In this case, a new contract must be drawn up which clearly states the reasons for the reduction in duration. 2 months before the expiry of the lease, the owner must, again, confirm his will to the tenant, by registered letter or by an act of bailiff.
If the landlord wants to reassess the rent, this increase cannot apply to the charges and must be staggered. The decision must be notified to the tenant 6 months before the expiry of the lease. If the tenant accepts this reassessment, they must notify the landlord in writing. A new lease is not required.