The questions to ask before signing a new rental agreement

When it comes to identifying a good rental agreement, there are certain stipulations that tenants tend to look for – from fair terms and conditions to testimonials from former tenants, a solid reputation, and a flexible contract where required.

With every landlord bringing their own priorities and ways of working to the table, as a letting agent in Rise Park, our job is to manage the communication between tenants and landlords – often acting on behalf of the landlord and managing everything from the admin to the deposit of every new contract and agreement.

But we don’t just act on behalf of the landlord. With an aim to support tenants as they seek out fair and flexible living opportunities in the current property market, this blog is designed to help you understand what to ask and what to look for before signing any rental agreement.

<h2> Things you need to know about a rental contract before signing on the dotted line </h2>

As is always the case, reading the terms and conditions is the most important thing to do before agreeing to and signing a contract. As a letting agent, we work with both our landlords and tenants to devise terms which are fair to both parties – however there will always be certain conditions which could be exclusive to a specific property so be sure to read the fine print and be certain before agreeing.

Some of the terms you should specifically note include:

  • The terms of the deposit and how/when this will be returned
  • The amount of notice either party needs to give for the contract to be void
  • Whether pets are allowed
  • Whether the property comes furnished or not
  • Any terms relating to community or neighbourhood guidelines, e.g., some flats specify no washing machines on after 10pm, and no loud music after certain times

<h2> Questions to ask a prospective landlord </h2>

The relationship between landlord and tenant is one which tentatively bridges the gap between professionalism and friendly understanding – with letting agents like Keystones often used as a middleman to facilitate the contract and manage the finer details on behalf of either or both parties.

With experience working with all manner of agreements, properties, and clients, we’ve devised our own list of questions that we recommend asking as a tenant, to any prospective landlord. These include:

  • What is the breakdown of rent, and are there any additional fees I need to pay upon signing the contract? Aside from the deposit which should be expected by both parties, you need to know about additional fees as early as possible – for example service or cleaning fees.
  • Is there a policy about having guests over?
  • How do you want me to pay the monthly rent? Cash, direct debit, bank transfer, etc.
  • When can I move in? If you feel like the property is a good fit for you, finding out the ideal move in date is the best next step!

For more advice on the questions to ask and factors to consider before signing any rental agreement, get in touch with us directly. Our team will be only too happy to help.