How to find your dream rental property
With more and more people priced out of buying a home, the lettings market is a competitive place to be.
As a tenant in 2018, you need to find a delicate balance between the need for speed and ensuring the property you want to move into is right for you.
You can find a multitude of rental properties with the click of a button thanks to the online searches and the development of property phone apps.
The results can be daunting. But with some key preparation and planning, you can make the search for your next rental property slick and successful.
Find out first
While Rightmove and Zoopla are generally the go-to platforms in any property search, you will only spot a new gem as quickly as everyone else. Parkers’ property alert service can tip you off about new properties on the rental market in your area before they hit those portals, giving you a crucial advantage in a busy market. You can also book a viewing directly through the Parkers website and get inside what could be your new dream property before anyone else.
Be strict with yourself
Budget is everything when it comes to a rental property hunt. It can help narrow down your search and is the sensible and strategic way to find a new home.
While drooling over hugely expensive properties on Zoopla brings out the dreamer in all of us, it is not conductive to a successful search and will only take up valuable time.
Establish your maximum budget and stick to it, leaving those Zoopla price sliders well alone!
Know where you want to live
A scattergun approach to any property search rarely ends well. Crucial time is soaked up, not to mention potentially losing out on suitable homes while viewing unsuitable ones.
Work out what you want from an area and then narrow your search down to postcodes that deliver.
Do you strive for the tranquility of the countryside but want to keep your commute down to less than 30 minutes? If so, you may have to compromise somewhere as tenants searching for a new property rarely get both.
Establish what is most important to you and what you could, if you had to, do without.
Dress to impress
You wouldn’t turn up for a job interview looking messy and disheveled. So, don’t turn up to a viewing looking that way!
Remember, the landlord or letting agent is making an assessment of you as a potential tenant as much as they are showing you the property.
Consider a viewing like a job interview - if you don’t make a positive impression, the chances are someone else will and that property you were desperate to secure will be long gone.
Make sure the property is right for you
First viewings are generally done with the heart. For a more mindful verdict on any property, it pays to view it a second time.
However, in the highly-competitive rental sector, there isn’t always time to do that before someone else jumps in and snatches that perfect home away from you.
However, you need to make sure the place you are viewing is absolutely right for you. With that in mind, revisit the area around the property during the evening on the same day you viewed it.
It will give you a different perspective and allow you to determine things like noise levels when the neighbours are home from work.
Be careful with offers
While you are perfectly within your rights to make a lower offer to a landlord on monthly rent, it is not without its pitfalls.
If you love the property, the chances are someone else will, too. And the chances are they’ll love it enough to pay the full rental asking price.
Parkers recommend that offers are as close to the asking rent as possible. A cheeky offer might seem like a good idea at the time, but this can go down badly with many landlords and may cost you that dream property.
Read the paperwork
The tenancy agreement is one of the most important pieces of paper you will sign as a renter. Yet many tenants choose not to read it!
It confirms all your obligations as a tenant and outlines the things you can and can’t do in your landlord’s property. Understanding all this fully is crucial.
Read the agreement before you sign it. If you spot anything you are not sure of or unhappy with, raise it with the letting agent or landlord.
If a stipulation doesn’t work for you, perhaps the property is not so perfect after all. But if you’ve already signed the agreement, you are committed to the tenancy term.
Don't be a stranger
Once you have moved into your new rental property, ensure you keep the lines of communication open with your landlord.
They will appreciate honesty from you and you are then more likely to get the same in return.
The landlord / tenant relationship can be a complex and fraught one, but good communication and trust established early in the tenancy will go a long way to ensuring a happy tenancy.
If you have any questions on renting a property, feel free to contact your local Parkers branch who will be more than happy to help you.
Request a viewing online
You can request your viewing slot online. Simply choose your property and select “Book Viewing”
Your responsibilities as a tenant
Failing to meet your obligations as a tenant can result in an unhappy tenancy for all concerned and could cost you some or all of your deposit. Follow our guide which lists the responsibilities expected of our tenants.