Know what you can afford
When looking at rental properties remember to take into account all other costs you may have for example, council tax, utility bills and broadband, these can all add up when added to other outgoings and financial commitments you may have.
Choosing the best property for you
Make a list of the things that are really important to you. Share your list of "must haves" and "would likes" with the local estate agents so they can start working with you.
Work with local estate agents
Using a regulated estate agent will give you the reassurance that there is a professional on hand. The agent may also be managing the property for the duration of the tenancy, meaning they will be your main point of contact throughout. A quality estate agent will know their clients; have client money protection, a redress scheme and professional & trained staff.
Be prepared, beat the crowd
Make sure you are flexible when it comes to viewings, the lettings business is incredibly fast moving and when a good property comes to the market there can be a rush of people to see it and who can offer immediately. Be prepared; if you find a property you like make sure you have all the relevant information you will need to hand, so when it comes to complete an application you are ready to go.
Securing the property
In a competitive market the landlord could have multiple offers to consider. Think about other selling points that will make your offer stand out. Price, make your best offer, start date, can you move on the available date, if not, how close, length of tenancy and keep it simple. All these can make the difference. Having the ability to pay the reservation fee immediately will show your commitment to the landlord.
Dotting the I's and crossing the T's
All quality estate agents will need to conduct checks on behalf of the landlord, so make sure you have details of your previous addresses to hand. Tell your employer and any other referees; let them know to expect a call or email. When you agree to rent a property you will be expected to pay a deposit, the first months' rent and there will also be other administration fees that you will be liable for. All tenant fees can be found on our fees page.
Home sweet home
Make sure you are aware of who is managing the property and you have all their contact details, if a maintenance issue arises you know who to call.
Treat it like your own
Look after your rental property as if it was your own. Keep the property clean and well ventilated and ensure that any gardens are well maintained. This will reduce the likelihood of disrepair and damage when the tenancy comes to an end.
As the initial agreement comes to an end, there are typically two options if you wish to stay. You could either renew on a fixed term contract or move over to a rolling tenancy. We would recommend an open dialog with the estate agent at least two months before the end.
Prepare in advance for the day you move out, everything takes longer than you think. Take meter readings, settle all final utility bills, redirect post and if the property was professionally cleaned when you moved in, then you should have it professionally cleaned when you move out and have a receipt to show the landlord. It goes without saying, you should leave the property in top condition and remove all your belongings, otherwise you risk losing part, or all of your deposit.