With competition fierce to secure your perfect home, it pays to move fast to make sure you don�t miss out. Here are our top tips for a hassle-free renting process:
Find a lettings agent you can trust. It�s well worth asking around for personal recommendations of lettings agents. The agent you use should be governed by a recognised industry scheme: ARLA registered, for example. You can then rest assured that your agent will follow the industry�s code of conduct and guidelines � and if for any reason you find they don�t in the future, you have an industry body to turn to for help settling any disputes.
Research location Researching different areas is vital, so you get a feel for where you�d like to live. That way you can focus your search, saving you time and making sure you�re ready to move quickly when opportunities arise in locations you like.
Prioritise Decide which property attributes are �must haves�� for example location, or a balcony, and which ones you could forgo�maybe an ensuite bathroom�to secure the apartment of your dreams, within your price bracket.
Your tenant credentials Bring written references - and guarantors� references if they are required - with you, so your agent can recommend you to the landlord: being prepared and able to prove a good track record will work in your favour. You�ll also need proof of identity, utility bills, a copy of your credit report and don�t forget to have your deposit to hand.
Ask about deposit schemes Before you hand over your rental deposit to an agent, make sure they�re enlisted in a deposit scheme � otherwise your money isn�t protected.
Know your notice period. If you are already renting somewhere, make sure you know how long your notice period is so that you can leave as soon as you need to.
And finally, don�t forget to review the lease before you sign on the dotted line!