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Best questions to ask every estate agent as a first-time landlord?

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If you are a first-time landlord, then you probably have a lot of questions on your mind! After all, being a landlord is not as easy as it sounds. From finding the right property to setting the right rental price, from choosing the right tenant to dealing with tenant problems, there are so many things involved! And of course, you’re going to need to hire a good estate agent to help you find the best property. For one, it is always a good idea to hire a local estate agent; so if you are looking for rental properties in Leeds, you should get in touch with experienced estate agents in Leeds. Now, if you are looking at potential investment properties and find yourself in over your head, here are some of the best questions that you should ask your estate agent as a first-time landlord. 

What is the rental demand like in the area?

Local estate agents always have the best knowledge regarding the local market. So, estate agents in Leeds will have the best knowledge when it comes to rental demands, property prices and average rental prices in Leeds. Before you invest in a rental property, be sure to find out about the rental demand in that area. 

Has this property been rented before?

Always find out if a property has been rented before. If yes, when was it given out on rent and for how long? What was the monthly rental at that time? And what was the rental demand like? Knowing about the history of the property could give you a better insight into the property. 

How much rent can this property get?

Always ask your estate agent how much rent a potential property can earn monthly, based on their experience and judgement. Estate agents have a good idea about the local market and they usually have extensive knowledge regarding the rental demand and average rental prices. Their valuation will help you figure out whether or not this property will give you a decent return on investment. 

Is the property freehold or leasehold?

As a first-time landlord, it is essential to ask your estate agent if a property is freehold or leasehold. Leasehold properties have an annual service charge which the landlord is liable to pay, not the tenant. Of course, when you buy a leasehold apartment, the service charge usually covers repairs, maintenance costs and well as renovations. On the other hand, you are the sole owner of a freehold property and do not have to pay any service charge, which means a higher profit. Always ask your estate agent whether a property is leasehold or freehold, and decide on what type of property you want to invest in. 

Is this area popular among renters? 

In every city and every region, there are certain areas that are popular among renters. For instance, in Leeds, neighbourhoods near the university will be popular among student renters whereas areas near transportation hubs and workspaces will be popular among young professionals who might be renting. Speak to your estate agent to understand which area is popular among renters as well as what type of property is popular among the local renters. 

Is the area safe?

Crime statistics are very important! While you might find the most gorgeous three-bedroom apartment for an affordable price, there is no point in owning such a property if it is an unsafe area where the tenant demand is low. Crime statistics and safety are very important for most tenants, so be sure to invest in a property that is in a safe area. Otherwise, you might have a great property with no tenants, which at the end of the day means you are losing money as a landlord. 

How old is the property?

If you are investing in a new build property, then you probably do not have to worry about repairs, maintenance and energy efficiency. However, if you are buying a property that has previously been on the market, then you might want to find out about the age and condition of the property. This will give you a fair idea of how much money you might need to put in for repairs and monthly maintenance. Also, the older the property, the higher the chances that you might need to make hefty payments to fix the roof, plumbing or internal wiring in the near future. 

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