If you’re new to the world of renting property, it can be a daunting and let’s be honest, sometimes a frustrating process, especially with demand for rental property so high. To put this into perspective, we had a rental property on the market in Bennetts Court, Yate which had a reserve list of over 20 potential applicants – that’s a lot of people for one property!
When you hear an agent say demand is high, we really do mean it which is why we thought this guide might help those in desperate need of finding a rental property.
Let’s first understand the process behind renting a property
This utilises our own process, just bear in mind that some agents may be different.
- You find a property
- Contact the agent to arrange a viewing
- Pay the application fee and complete the application form
- Reference checks are conducted
- Providing the reference checks are successful and the landlord is happy to go ahead, then a date is confirmed to start your tenancy
So, how do I beat the rental crowd?
1. First, find out what you want
It’s essential you have a clear to plan as to what you need in a property. There’s no point in wasting time viewing properties that don’t suit your needs, there could be other properties out there that someone might pick up instead.
2. Register your criteria with agents and portals
Contact all local agents and provide them with your criteria (i.e. what you’re looking for), contact details and position (have kids, pets, etc.). We would also recommend creating email alerts on portals such as Rightmove, this is because in our case, all of our properties will appear instantly on Rightmove meaning you’ll receive an alert as soon as it’s on the market.
3. Be proactive
Your local agents are the people in the know with properties potentially coming to market. If you keep in touch with the agents, you might bag yourself a viewing before a property’s even hit the market. Also ask for a copy of the application form and guarantor application form (if needed) upfront so you can fill it in ready for when it’s needed.
4. Act quickly
Rental properties usually get snapped up quickly, that even includes the less desirable properties due to the shortage of stock. Procrastination is your enemy here! If you feel the property is right then the best course of action is to go with it. If you’re viewing on a day where there’s more appointments and you wait even a few hours, someone’s likely to make the decision instead.
5. Be prepared to offer more
Offering to pay extra deposit or 6 months’ rent up front will really help to boost your credibility, it shows the landlord and us that you actually care about the property. This is especially important if you have pets.
6. Think about providing a guarantor
A guarantor is someone who has legally said they will step in if you can’t make your rent payments. This is optional although if you aren’t over 25, don’t have enough income or you have adverse credit history then most agents will ask for a guarantor. Having a guarantor will give the landlord reassurance that you can pay your rent if for example, you are off sick from work or lose your job. Finding a relative who can do this first will give you time to make the appropriate arrangements.
7. Prepare your finances
The two main payments you’ll need to make are the application fee (to secure the property) and deposit (after references are successful). We charge £360 inc VAT for up to two adult tenants and for the deposit it’s generally a month and half of rent (for a rent of £600 per month the deposit would be £900) although this can vary so check the amount beforehand and make sure you have the funds ready to go.
8. Get you supporting paperwork ready
Generally we’ll only need photo ID, proof of address documents and the 3 most recent copies of your payslips for you to secure the property. Of course this may vary depending on agents.
9. Be mindful of this fact
Every landlord and agent wants a tenant who’ll pay the rent and keep the property up to standard – it’s quite simple. During a viewing, the agent conducting the viewing will want to get a feel for how reliable and concise with your circumstances you are, if you come across as being not very communicative but in a great position (i.e. willing to pay rent up front) and there’s one other potential applicant in a lesser position (i.e. not willing to pay rent up front) but came across as more communicative (though we don’t need a life story!), we’ll put these facts to the landlord and whilst it’s down to the landlord to make the decision, I’m sure you can guess who they’ll choose. Our advice is to always put yourself in the landlord’s position, would you choose to rent a property to you?
We hope this was of assistance to you. If we can help any further then please don’t hesitate to get in touch on 01454 316718.