The trend of buying luxury flats has increased by nearly eight to nine percent in Pakistan in the last decade, primarily due to increasing demand for well-maintained, secure housing units. It is therefore not surprising that between 2010 and 2016, flats prices increased by 110%, while houses registered a much slower increase, at 80% (source: Pakistan Economic Survey, 2016).
Traditionally, flats projects were in Karachi, as cultural preferences in Islamabad and Lahore were for horizontal residential projects. Though with the rapid urban sprawl, cities have become congested, land prices are going up, and the flat living trend is swiftly gaining traction in these cities as well. Although, in the last six years alone, the demand for flats has gone up by nearly 35%, which has given rise to an increasing number of newly constructed high-rise luxury flats in Islamabad and Lahore.
Moreover, owning a flat comes with a set of benefits like experiencing the community living with a neighbor right across the hall. Living in a flat is also considered more secure with 24/7 well-guarded entrances and exits which most residential buildings in Islamabad offer. Al-Ghurair Giga located in the prime location of Islamabad, brings the best living flats, such as Defence Tower, Defence Tower II, El Cielo, El Cielo Prime, Lignum Tower, Defence Executive, Defence Residency. Nonetheless, luxurious flats are available for rent and sale also with plenty of amenities.
Things to Inspect and check before renting a Flat
There are many things you must consider before renting a flat, house, or other rental property. You may focus on the location of the rental, such as which neighborhood it is in and which facilities are close (like public transportation, grocery shopping, and parks). Still, it is also important to assure the rental unit itself is what you are expecting.
Usually, the landlord of a rental property will show potential tenants the unit that they want to rent it before they sign the lease, and sometimes, part of that process involves going documenting the conditions of the rental unit using a move-in rental inspection report. This will assist you, and your potential new landlord makes a note of any renovations that are needed, damages that were there from former tenants, and so on before you move in.
If a rental inspection report is not considered or not used, then the landlord may not remember what damages existed in the flat before you moved in, which could result in the landlord charging you for damages you did not cause and feasibly withholding part of your security deposit when you move out to pay for the damages.
Examine the Walls, Floors, and Carpets for Damages or Stains
When you first visit a residential rental property, the first things you generally notice are the walls, carpets, and floors. While it is common for the walls to have a few small holes from the previous tenant’s art or pictures (if the landlord did not fix the walls or repaint after the previous tenant moved out) or the floors that are hardwood to have a few small scuffs, you want to make sure that more visible damage (like noticeable stains on the carpets or large holes in the walls) are available in the inspection report (normally the landlord will take pictures) to indicate that the previous tenant did those damages. Besides, you might want to take pictures of the damages for your records.
Check the power outlets and electrical work
Many things we use every day require a power outlet to work, such as TVs, phone chargers, kitchen appliances, etc. When paying a visit to a flat, you should bring a small device to plug into every socket that you can find to ensure they all work. Cannot think of anything small to bring with you for testing? Go to a hardware store and purchase an Electrical Receptacle Wall Plug AC Outlet Ground Tester. Plus, test all of the lights throughout the flat to make sure they turn on and off as they are supposed to. When you move in without checking these, and it turns out they do not work, you might just be out of luck.
Examine if Safety Equipment, such as Smoke detectors, are in Working Order
If there is an emergency while you are living at a rental property, you want to be certain that the safety equipment, like smoke detectors, is working properly; so that it alerts you to the danger in time. If you observe that a smoke detector is not working (as the lights on the device are not on), you must request that the landlord makes sure that all of these devices are working before you move in.
Check the water pressure and temperature
This is something that usually flies under the radar but is something we must deal with every day. There is nothing worse than the wonky water pressure and water temperature that is much hard or way too gentle. Of course you cannot go and take a shower while inspecting the flat, you can test the temperature and pressure with your hand to make sure it is suitable. If you notice that there are problems with it, consult with the landlord or company to check what you can do about it before you move in.
Make sure there are no “pests.”
Humans are not the only things that like to call flats home. Sometimes, pests like rodents and bugs can find their way in, and that is a huge problem for many people. Having pests residing in your flat is unsanitary and just plain old gross in every way. The best way to check for these is to look inside or on top of the cabinets to see if there are any wastes there. Plus, checking the baseboards and walls for any large holes or cracks is also a good idea.
Know your landlord
It is very important to know some basic information about the landlord. If it is a management company with thousands of flats for rent, it may be more difficult to negotiate, but if it is a family and they just need to secure the income every month, you have a green light to close the deal with a small discount.