Rental Due Diligence

Posted by km22 3 yrs ago
We just signed a lease on a flat, paid the deposit, and immediately after getting the keys we discovered a notice in one of the hallways stating the owners committee had recently approved extensive internal and external renovation works for the entire building. (The building is 30 years old and planning on these necessary works have been ongoing for several years now - so the expectation is they are pretty close to starting as it includes everything down to cost allocations, tiles selected, etc). This will obviously have a huge consequence on us in terms of noise, dust, disruption, etc and we understand will take over a year once they start.

I raised this to the landlord but their reaction was (a) we didn't know, (b) we don't think it will start soon and (c) if it does you can leave after your 14 month break but otherwise tough luck. (I had ideally planned on a three year tenancy given the very high cost of moving.)

My question is - how do I avoid a nasty surprise like this in the future (and/or warn others how to avoid our predicament)? What due diligence questions should every tenant be asking their prospective landlord? What are the clauses tenants should be asking to write into their leases? This is just one example of a bad surprise - so wondered what else one should prepare for by asking the right questions.

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