One of your key contacts, once you’ve made the move to Libya could possibly be your landlord. For this reason, you will want a good relationship with him. He may be one who can keep you informed of any security issues and help you get settled into life in Libya. For this reason you want to begin the relationship right by discussing these five points from the beginning.
Who Pays for Utilities
Even though utilities are fairly cheap here in Libya at the moment, you will want to find out who is responsible for paying them. Whose name is on the utility contract? If there are issues with the water or electric, can you go to the utility company or does the landlord whose name is on the contract have to be the one to request repairs?
How much rent up front?
Naturally the rental price will be an item of discussion. However, it is also wise to find out how much of that rent the landlord expects to be paid at the time that the contract is signed. Often we find that landlords want the whole year’s rent to be paid up front. This can be negotiated however, so be sure to include this on your list of things to go over when meeting potential landlords.
What happens if you have to break the contract?
Since you never know what the situation will be like in the future here in Libya, it is wise to discuss what happens if you are forced to break the contract. Is it possible to get any of the rent refunded, if you paid it all up front at the signing of the contract? If you are paying monthly, what is expected if you are forced to leave the country?
Another item to make sure is clear from the beginning is regarding maintenance issues. Who is responsible if there are structural issues such as water pipe breaks or problems with sewage? What if a window breaks or water is leaking from the ceilings when it rains? In our experience, typically the owner handles the structural issues such as electrical, water or sewage problems and the renter covers any cosmetic repairs such as broken windows, doors or damage that they do while living in the house. However, it is best to clarify with the landlord so everyone knows the expectations from the start.
What happens if you want to renew your contract?
The final point is what happens if you want to continue renting from him after the contract expires. Will the rent stay the same? If not, how much will it increase for the next rental term?
Good communication and discussions with your landlord at the beginning can go a long way to ensuring that your transition to living here in Libya goes smoothly!