Before starting your search for a new rental home, there are steps that need to be taken in order to help you find the right property. And if you carefully follow the necessary processes, the property you end up with might be even better than what you imagined. Your perfect rental property may not be what you initially considered to be perfect, so be open minded and take a look at the 9 steps that will lead to you finding your perfect rental property.
1. Consider your actual needs
Are you living alone or are you a large family with small children ? Your personal situation will define your specific needs, as everyone has different needs and will be looking for something specific to complement their lifestyle. First things first, consider what the most important aspects are for you when renting and be aware that you might not find exactly what you’re looking for.
Being flexible and realistic about what you really need will increase your chances of finding a property faster.
While a second bedroom might be useful, perhaps you’d actually prefer a garden or to save money each month.
2. Set a realistic budget
Deciding on a budget depends on what your needs are. For example, a family that needs 3 bedrooms is more than likely to find only houses at this size, which means there might need to pay premium for a garden and extra living space.
On the opposite, if you’re searching for a one bedroom flat close to central London with a monthly budget of £1,000, then you’re unlikely to find anything in these areas and you’ll have to widen your geographical search.
There will be a medium between your budget and getting what you want, but you have to be prepared to compromise when necessary.
3. Narrow down areas
Although you might have a specific area at heart for different reasons ( you know it very well, your work around, your friends and family live there etc…) it’s always good to keep an open mind and let your budget drive your search.
For example, instead of renting that one bedroom flat in Balham, you might be able to find a two bedroom apartment down the road in Streatham for less than the same budget, giving you more space and saving you money.
4. Utilise property search websites and register with agents
Online sites like Spareroom, Openrent, Rightmove and Zoopla are a fantastic place to start your search, as they are city-wide and allow you to easily compare prices and property types against the rest of the rental market.
However, you need to be aware that some properties are rented out before they even appear online, so it’s best to register with an estate agent who will be able to show you properties as soon as they are put on the market.
5. Start property viewings
The first property you visit isn’t quite the one ? Don’t worry, this is normal and you will soon come across something that looks more like what you’re searching for. But when you’re looking round potential homes, be open to the fact that what you’re searching for might not exist exactly as you pictured it. Go on viewings for a few properties to gauge what’s available.
6. Put down your best offer
You’ve found a property you like? Now it’s time to put in an offer with the agent.
Sometimes it’s possible to put down an offer that’s lower than the asking price, but not every landlord will be happy with this. That’s why we recommend offering as close to the asking price as possible to increase your chances of being able to rent the property. Keep in mind though that you shouldn’t necessarily rule out properties if they’re over your budget.
The date you can move in may also affect your offer and it’s best to stick to a date as close to the day it is available from.
7. Get paperwork in order
The best time to have documentation prepared is ahead of time. Nevertheless, you can also do it once your offer is accepted.
8. Pay your deposit and sign the contract
Sorting your paperwork, paying a deposit and first month’s rent take place simultaneously in the same process. You will also sign your tenancy agreement here, which is the contract in which you formally agree to rent the property.
At this time, your landlord will also sign the tenancy agreement and you will be able to raise any questions and concerns you may have.
You’ll also need to set up a standing order for your rent.
9. Move in day
After all these processes are complete, you can move in!
The keys for your new rental home will be available on the day your tenancy starts, not before. So make sure you organise any removal companies around that day.
If an inventory of your new property is done on the day you move in, it’s a good idea to request a copy, as well as making your own notes and taking pictures of the property on the first day.