Find your dream property to rent
Finding the perfect rental property can sometimes take as much out of you as searching for somewhere to buy. While the Internet and property smartphone apps have made it easier than ever to pinpoint properties that interest you, the rise in digital has also done the same for your competition. Acting quickly is vital, but getting the keys for that perfect rental home can also take time. Some pre-planning and a little patience is needed, but with a solid approach, you could be moving into a dream property in no time.
Sign up for our property alerts
Imagine getting to look around a potential rental before it’s gloriousness has even appeared for the masses on Rightmove or Zoopla. Signing up for Martin & Co’s rental alert service could put you a step ahead of the rest and in a competitive and vibrant lettings market. Once you have seen a property that tickles your rental taste buds, you can request a viewing at the click of a button.
Stick to your budget
While expanding Rightmove’s sliders to include properties between £500 and £10,000 per calendar month may provide more search results and allow you to have a nose inside some pretty spectacular properties, if you can’t afford those lofty payments then you are wasting valuable time. Establish your maximum monthly budget from the get-go – and factor in things like council tax, gas, electric and water bills. Most utility companies will give you an idea of the monthly bills you will be facing based on the type of property you are searching for. Be realistic and only search for the properties that fall into your budget.
What do you like to do? Do you like a bit of hustle and bustle, or is tranquility a must-have? Your desires will depend hugely on the kind of location you wish to live, so establishing them before you set out on your rental property search will once again save you crucial time. Make a list of the things that are most important to you. Do you need a property close to work? Is outdoor space nearby to walk the dog a necessity? If you have children, what are the schools like? And be prepared to compromise. Rarely do house hunters get everything on their list, so work out early on what you are prepared to sacrifice.
Don't stop learning
Even if you believe you have found the perfect rental property, a little extended research prior to signing on the dotted line is never a bad thing. Visit the area around the property at different times of the day. If your first viewing was in the middle of a weekday, chances are the serenity could be quite different once everyone else in the street is home from work. Visit in the early evening and note any differences.
Be careful with offers
While buying a home is all about securing an offer that’s right for you, renting is a slightly different scenario. Landlords are not often impressed by offers considerably lower than the monthly rent so take this into account if you are planning a cheeky bid. Also consider when you are able to move before requesting a rent reduction. If you are not ready to move until three weeks after the property becomes available, making a lower offer on the rent would be ill-advised.
Be a professional prospective tenant
Don’t forget: It’s not just you doing your research when it comes to renting a property. Your prospective landlord is also running the rule over you as a potential tenant. Look your best if you are heading out on a viewing and the landlord will be present. Even if they aren’t, it pays to make an effort for the letting agent as they will be reporting back to the landlord post-viewing. Standing out from the crowd could make a big difference. We’re not talking cocktail dresses, suits and ties here! But a little effort can go a long way. If the landlord is present, be courteous and polite and make the effort to engage with them. Questions show that your interest is serious and that is what landlords want.
Read the tenancy agreement properly
It’s amazing how many tenants fail to read their agreements in full before signing, only to realise six months into their rental that they were responsible for the garden upkeep after all. Don’t be afraid to ask the letting agent questions if you are unsure of anything in the agreement – especially when it comes to utility bills. Understanding what you are responsible for as a tenant is crucial. And before you start hanging all those lovely pictures on the walls, make sure you are fully aware of what you can and can’t do to the inside of the property.
Build a rapport with your landlord
We’re not saying go out together for a drink, but building a relationship via good communication with your landlord can help ensure your stay in their property is a pleasant one. After all, you will be in contact for a long period of time, even in the case of a six-month tenancy, so getting to know the person who owns the property can only be a good thing and two-way trust is vital to a hassle-free tenancy.