HOW TO FIND YOUR DREAM PROPERTY TO RENT
In a competitive London lettings market, having an edge could make the difference between picking up the keys to your dream property or enduring a long and fruitless search. Finding properties available to rent has never been easier thanks to the onset of digital marketing and the speed of smart phone apps. But that has also opened the door to everyone else wanting to rent the dream property you have your eye on, so being quick out of the blocks is crucial. Rushing into a rental agreement is not recommended. But with some early preparation and planning, you can beat the competition and get your hands on the keys to that ideal rental.
It can be a flying off the shelves scenario for some rental properties and no sooner have they appeared on Rightmove or Zoopla, the viewing requests flood the inboxes of the letting agent and the deal is done.
That’s how competitive the London market can be so any kind of edge is a real advantage in a busy and bustling market.
Ellis & Co’s property alerts will flag up rental properties for you before they appear on the mainstream search portals, meaning you can beat the rush and get to the front door first by booking a viewing with a click of your mouse.
DON'T GO OVER BUDGET
It’s very nice to ignore Rightmove’s budget sliders and take a peak inside some pretty sensational, multi-million pound London properties, but this is wasting time unless you have the monumental budget to rent them!
Be strategic with your approach and be clear on your budget from day one. Only search for properties you can afford and take into account bills like council tax, water and electricity. Having your budget established will help you whittle down the properties you want to view to a manageable handful.
PINPOINT YOUR AREA
As with your budget, be focused on the area you want to live in
What are your goals and what kind of environment do you prefer to live in?
If you yearn for peace and quiet but you also need to be near work, searching for a property in the outer zones may be wasted effort. Compromise is key here.
Make a list of your desires and then work out what you can compromise on. Tenants rarely find a property that ticks every box so some level of sacrifice needs to be accepted.
MAKE AN EFFORT ON THE VIEWING
You should look at viewing a rental property like a two-way job interview.
Yes, you are sussing out the property and whether or not it is right for you, but remember: Your potential new landlord is taking a good look at your credentials as well.
Don’t turn up for a viewing looking scruffy and unkempt. If you can’t present yourself nicely, how are you going to take good care of the landlord’s property?
If the landlord is present during the viewing, be polite and ask questions about the property. They will be able to see you are serious about living there.
KNOW THE PROPERTY INSIDE AND OUT
One viewing is rarely enough to establish if a rental property is right for you. However, if there is a host of other interest in your new potential home, you need to move quickly.
If you view the property for the first time in the middle of the day, return that evening to gauge any differences in noise once the neighbours have returned home from work.
And take a wander around connecting streets or into town. Life may not be as peaceful or as bustling as you’d hoped when compiling your wish-list.
THINK CAREFULLY ABOUT AN OFFER
Renting doesn’t work in the same way as buying a property. While offers beneath the asking price are part and parcel of the sales process, pitching below the asking rent is generally more frowned upon by landlords.
Also consider when you are able to move. If a property is available in two weeks’ time, the landlord will want it filled in two weeks’ time – if you can only move in five weeks then a cheeky offer on the rent will go down like a lead balloon.
DON'T JUST SIGN THE TENANCY AGREEMENT
Read it first! And read it with a keen eye. It’s important as a new tenant that you know what your obligations are before you sign on the dotted line.
If you don’t want to be responsible for the upkeep of the property’s garden but the tenancy agreement insists you are, perhaps what looked like the perfect home on the outside isn’t after all.
Your obligations will also give you an insight into your potential landlord. If the agreement is littered with things you can’t do but you need flexibility then, again, perhaps this property is not ‘the one’.
COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR LANDLORD
If you come across any problems with the property once you have moved in, report them in good time and ensure the property is in good order before trades people arrive to fix the issue. The chances are they will report back to the managing agent or landlord.
Opening the lines of communication with your landlord can only be a good thing and building a professional relationship will pay dividends when it’s time to move on and you need that all-important reference.
If you have any questions about finding a property to rent, speak to your local Ellis & Co branch who will be happy to help.