It is not okay to be a quitter. It means that every time things get a little difficult or uncomfortable, you will back out. However, there are times in life when you will have a very good reason to back out. Backing out of a rental agreement might prove a little harder though. In fact, if you are renting commercial property high chances are that you will lose your deposit. This is why it is absolutely important to be very certain of your decision to rent.
If your reason is unavoidable and unforeseen then you might be successful at getting the landlord to relent a little bit on the penalty for changing your mind. The rules for residential rental are much more forgiving.
In other cases, you may note something about the property, landlord or terms that rub you the wrong way. If you have such a revelation then by all means change your mind and move on. Below are some of the reasons for last minute mind changes.
1. Signs of Shady Landlord
There are numerous signs that your landlord or caretaker might be shady. You might not notice the signs off the bat because a good conman is good at hiding their bad sides. They will be all nice and welcoming then when you are not looking they will stab you in back. Or at least make away with your money.
Some landlords do not let the tenant have a copy of the agreement. This is a sign that there is something shady about the entire deal. When you sign a contract, you will need to retain a copy. Alarms should sound even louder if the landlord or caretaker pushes you to sign without reading it first. If you guts tell you to back out right then you should. Always listen to your sixth sense.
If you can get away with it, do not pay cash. Have the landlord or caretaker give you an account to which you can deposit the money. Even a paybill number would suffice. The point is to have an official account of the transaction. This way if things go sideways you have some proof that you paid. In the same spirit, ensure you are given a receipt for the money you have paid. If they insist on cash payments but do not offer a receipt for it then by all means have a second thought. This is Nairobi, you cannot be giving away money without getting a receipt. It is so easy to be conned that way.
Another sign of a shady landlord or caretaker is being shown the shown the house at inconvenient times. If the landlord only insists on showing the house at night or mid morning Sundays when few people are around. This may be a sign that the person is running a con. You should investigate this or at the very least, enquire.
2. List of repairs
When you are put finding a place t rent then you finally find one, before you commit by paying the amount required there are a few steps to take fist. One of those steps and which is very important is creating a list of repairs. You should inspect the house and talk about the issues that you will need handled. This will include painting to broken sinks and taps to worn out floor among others. You should never move into a house that is already run down. You deserve better and you can always find something within your budget that is not a death trap. Ensure to have the caretaker or landlord around so that they can witness you make this list. From that you can negotiate with the landlord on what they will handle.
Paint can be forgone in some cases. Some people do not require plumbing either. However, the things that you do need repaired before you move in should be handled promptly. If the landlord seems adamant or they refuse to take action then by all means walk away. You deserve a landlord who cares about your living conditions. You deserve to live in a presentable house.
3. New information
In some cases, you will find out something new about the building or the landlord after you have viewed the house and have decided to commit to it. You could find some information that is a deal breaker.
For example, someone once moved into a DSQ in Nairobi West. The house belonged to a person who lived abroad and had left the house to their nephew to manage. The house was a fixer-uper but it was habitable. It was quiet and affordable with round the clock water availability and free power. However, the prospective tenant after loving the house so much found out that the nephew keeps spare keys of the house. She found out that he likes to show up every Friday while drunk then causing a ruckus. She was single woman, she would not have been able to handle that. She made excuses to the nephew who promptly gave her money back and she moved on.
Sometimes, you will come across some information that will repulse you and make you uncomfortable after you have already made the commitment. It is okay to change your mind about the whole thing and leave. You should fully expect that the landlord will require you to live out your money. You should also be wary of malicious parties who give you false information.
Hanging your mind about renting a house will be inconvenient for both you and the landlord. In many cases, the landlord will have you stay for the paid for duration. A good excuse (read: lie) could help you out in this case. If you believe that the sanctity of a home will be compromised or that you could be in danger then by all means break that tenancy. It is better to be inconvenienced than to suffer the consequences. Good luck!