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5 Questions Tenants Need to Ask Potential Landlords

There's plenty to consider when searching for a new rental property: location, affordability, the...

There's plenty to consider when searching for a new rental property: location, affordability, the safety of the area... the list goes on.

While reading property details and booking a viewing can give you an idea of what a place is like, there are some key questions you should be asking before you sign on the dotted line. Here at Belvoir Sutton Coldfield we already discussed the questions that tenants should ask their landlords, so now we've pulled together a list of the top five things every tenant should ask their potential landlord:

1. What are the upfront costs?

Most landlords will ask for a deposit plus the first month's rent in advance - but the value of the deposit can vary. For some it will be a month, for others it could be even more - ensure that you know exactly how much you'll need to hand over before you sign.

2. Why did the last tenants move out?

If the landlord is cagey about the answer, alarm bells should be ringing. If they've moved simply to rent a larger place, to buy a property or to downsize to somewhere more affordable, this is fine. If it's because of problems with neighbours, problems with the landlord or another issue that the landlord refuses to mention, be wary.

3. What are the monthly bills like?

Ask to see energy efficiency certificates before you sign; a property with a poor efficiency rating is likely to mean high utility bills. Check the council tax band too; monthly payments could be higher than you expect.

4. Are there any special rules for tenants?

Most contracts will state that you aren't allowed pets, can't smoke in the property or can't redecorate without permission - standard clauses in rental contracts. Some landlords, however, may have special restrictions - such as not allowing their tenants to light candles in the property - that you need to be aware of before making a decision.

5. How are any maintenance issues dealt with?

In any property, things may go wrong. If your boiler were to break down or your water were to stop working, would it be the landlord or the letting agent who deals with it, and how quickly? If the landlord gives a vague answer, it could be a sign of what's to come.

At Belvoir Sutton Coldfield, we work with reputable landlords to rent out properties to tenants in the area. To find out more about our available properties, contact us.

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