Date Published 21 July 2011
With demand for rental property at an all-time high, here are our top five tips for securing a rental home in a tough climate.
James Gesner, Senior Partner at Lesters, said: "We are seeing an unprecedented level of demand for homes, with prospective buyers turning to rented property as a more flexible option than buying
"However, although the rental market is highly competitive, it is still possible to find that ideal home - if the search is carried out in a thorough, well-informed and realistic manner."
We recommend the following for anyone looking to secure a rental property this summer:
1. Work out your true priorities
Before booking viewings, set in place key 'deal-breakers' as well as areas for compromise. Knowing what things you're willing to be flexible on can aid the decision-making process and help your agent select properties to suit your specific needs.
2. Be prepared to make a prompt decision
With the best properties often being let quickly, it is important to be able to make a swift and informed decision. However, it is even more important not to feel pressured into accepting a property that does not fit your agreed standards - quick decisions are different to rushed decisions.
3. Don't go it alone
As the adage goes, a problem shared is a problem halved, which is why it can be useful to bring a friend or family member along to any viewings for that crucial second opinion. Further to this, using an agent can make the process easier. Lesters are licensed ARLA members which means we have industry-leading market knowledge, and we are regulated - giving you access to client money protection and a redress scheme - as well as an informed opinion.
4. Get a flavour of the local market
If you are moving to a new part of town, check it out on foot to get a feel for the area before you begin your search. It is also a good idea to conduct online research into average rents for the area early-on to build up a picture of likely prices and adjust your own expectations - or budget - accordingly.
5. Get your house in order
If possible, try to get your references and deposit ready before beginning your search, to minimise delays once you have found the property you wish to rent.