Renting a house or apartment is one of the best moves you could make if you want to get a feel of what it’s like to live in Davao. As a foreigner, there are some things to keep in mind about the nature of renting homes here in Davao.
Type of Dwelling Unit
Two of the most common options for a dwelling unit are apartments and family houses. Two- to three-bedroom homes are the standard, though you could find some with five bedrooms. Just recently, there are condominium units for rent on the newly turned over condominium project near the SM City Mall in Ecoland. Try to seek the help of a real estate agent to explore the possibilities.
Unfurnished, Furnished and Anything in between
Some homes are fully furnished, others are semi-furnished, still others are unfurnished. The an unfurnished house is easy to tell: There’s just nothing in there except for the bare rooms and the minimum of furnitures meant for the boy scouts on the way to a camping adventure.
It’s the semi-furnished and the fully furnished that causes the confusion — what’s fully furnished for the landlord may only be semi-furnished for the renter. It’s better to enumerate things out clearly in the contract.
The cost of renting a house or apartment varies greatly depending on which area in Davao the property is located and the features that goes with the property. Naturally, the closer you are to the downtown area, the more expensive the rental price is.
Normally, you would be asked to sign a Lease Agreement covering a minimum of six (6) months. Some property owners would even insist on longer terms up to at least one (1) year period to make up for the initial investment, maintenance and the risks involved in having some stranger occupy the unit.
Usually, you would also be asked to pay an advanced two-month deposit and two-months down payment. That’s a total of four (4) months in initial payment prior to occupancy payable in cash or in cheque. Monthly payments that are not covered by the initial payments will be secured by post dated cheques. If you don’t have a checking account, make sure you discuss this with the landlord so you can arrange how this issue will be handled.
One of the advantages of renting is that the renter can have a care-free attitude with regards to the property being rented. The owner is one responsible for the up-keep and maintenance of the unit. Always clarify this or read what is stipulated in the Contract before you sign it.
Renewal, Cancellation and Moving Out
On your calendar take mark these to dates: 1) End date your Contract Of Lease, and 2) Two months prior to that date. You don’t want to cram while packing your things in time of moving out to a new place (perhaps your new home) when you rental expires. You landlord will also be happy if you give him and advance notice whether or not you will renew the Lease Contract or not.
Also take note, that when your contract ends and you are still there in the house, you could be liable for paying the extra time you are there in the house. And that is usually equivalent to another six months of rental as if you are renewing the contract. This is where your negotiating power comes in.