Congratulations to the new students in the university institutions wishes the Consumer Protection Center (KEPKA) and adds, with today’s announcement of, some advice for those looking for housing in their new place of residence.

In detail, KEPKA reports the following data:

In order to find housing, there are real estate agencies, advertisements, websites, rental agencies, notices, etc. in every city. It would be good to start from the local newspapers, to evaluate the small ads that are on the special bulletin boards of the schools, to visit real estate agencies, to we take a walk in the city.

In any case, however, when looking for a house we must know:

* Houses in the city center are generally older and more expensive than those outside the center.

* We check the location of the house, the neighborhood and what it provides us (supermarket, banks, regular public transport, access to the university campus, etc.).

* We thoroughly inspect the house for any damages and point them out to the owner to fix them, before we start living in the house.

* Great care is needed when starting negotiations with the owner for renting the house. We need to know:

* In housing leases, the amount of the lease is set freely and binds both parties.

* The residential lease is valid for at least three years and if a shorter or indefinite period has been agreed upon.

* If the contractual term is set to be less than three years and there is no agreement to adjust the rent for the remaining year, the rent paid increases, annually, by a percentage of 75% of the cost of living rate given by the Bank of Greece for the immediately preceding 12 months .

* The fixed term tenancy expires as soon as this period has passed, nothing else being required. In fact, it is considered to be renewed, for an indefinite period, after the three-year period when, after the agreed time has passed, the tenant continues to use the residence and the owner does not object.

* The lease of indefinite duration after the expiration of three years ends with a notice from the owner or the tenant.

* The rent is paid on the date agreed upon by the owner and the tenant.

* The payment of the guarantee is not an obligation of the tenant arising from the law but has prevailed as a rental habit.

* We do not accept or sign terms that we do not understand or with which we do not fully agree. Many tenancy agreements contain terms unfavorable to tenants, eg “if the tenant terminates the tenancy before the agreed expiry, he is obliged to pay all rent until the expiry”. We delete such terms.

* The owner has the obligation to deliver to the tenant the residence suitable for the agreed use and to maintain it properly during the lease.

* The owner bears the burdens of the property.

* The owner reimburses the tenant for the necessary expenses he incurred in the property.

* The renter is not responsible for damages or changes due to the agreed use. Thus, we can claim: 1) that the owner undertakes the obligation to make, at his own expense, the necessary repairs to the house (eg painting, window repair, etc.), so that it is suitable for us to live in, 2) that the owner the obligation to repair, at his own expense, the damages that will be caused to the house in the context of our usual use of it. Of course, the owner is not obliged to repair damages caused due to misuse of the house.

* After we agree, we always sign a written rental contract for which the lessor registers it with the tax office within a month and we have to accept it. Under no circumstances do we accept proposals for rent receipts or agreements for amounts different from the actual ones. We become complicit in the owner’s tax evasion.

* We, for our part, as tenants, must demonstrate consistency in paying rents (= rents), good use of the house and application of building regulations.

* Late payment of utilities has the same effect as late rent.

* The tenant, at the end of the lease, has an obligation to return the residence to the condition in which he received it.

* Caution! From 01.01.2008, the stamp has been abolished, for residences.

* If we contact a real estate agency, we make sure that it is legal. The realtor is entitled to a fee so we ask what his fee is and only pay the fee if we rent the house he suggested. Therefore, we pay after signing the contract with the owner.

* We visit and check the houses daily.

* Before we decide to sign a contract, we are informed about the utilities, the bills of the house and all the expenses that will be charged to the house in addition to the rent.