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Renting privately or through an agent

Guiding you through the renting process

Step 3 - Renting privately or through an agent

Lady sitting on a white sofa

Dealing directly with private landlords to find a property can be worrying…

You'll have to meet a total stranger at a property and, of course, landlords are unregulated and don't need to be part of a professional trade body or trade association. Lettings agents offer greater peace of mind and security. Some belong to bodies such as the Association of Residential Letting Agents, which has a code of practice that members must subscribe to. Click here for a list of ARLA members.

Other professional bodies include the National Approved Lettings Scheme, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the National Association of Estate Agents. Check their websites for a list of members and to see what protection they currently offer.

Rightmove agents

Rightmove has a comprehensive list of member agents to choose from that will make your search for rental property a lot easier. Your Rightmove agent will also have lots of useful information, including knowledge of what's planned for the area, council tax rates and more.

Here are some tips to get the most out of Rightmove and Rightmove agents:

  • Use the property alerts facility to update you with new properties matching your search criteria when it is added to Rightmove
  • Once you have found a property that interests you, contact the Rightmove member agent who is marketing the property to arrange a viewing. If it doesn't suit, they will be able to help you find something else that does
  • Help your letting agent by telling them what sort of property you want - and don't want!
  • Keep calling your agent or they may assume you''ve found somewhere
  • Ask the agent if you need to pay a reservation fee to hold the property (get a receipt for it) and ask what other charges the agency makes. You usually have to pay for the drawing up of the tenancy agreement, having an inventory done and for checking references