How to find and secure your ideal rental property

With house prices remaining high and an increasing amount of people opting for rental properties, good accommodation can be difficult to secure. With so many people now choosing to stay away from buying a house, rental homes get snapped up quickly.

Finding a rental property can be a hassle, but it doesn't have to be if you get organised and follow these simple steps. As a potential tenant there are some steps that can be taken to ensure that when the ideal rental property is found, the tenancy agreement can be signed as hastily as possible. Here is a quick guide on how to find and secure your ideal property. 

Find it

Before starting the search for a perfect pad, it is essential to have a clear idea of what makes an ideal home. Have a discussion with those you are looking to live with, including location, property type and tenancy length. Other things to consider could be how much you are looking to pay and if the property needs to be furnished or not. Answering some of these questions will help when it comes to speaking to letting agents, giving them the best idea of properties that are suited to your needs.

Finding a good letting agent is essential in the property hunt, they are specially trained to help find you the ideal property and should have the local knowledge to find it quickly. Be sure to check your agent is fully accredited and ask about the fees that they charge to avoid any surprises further down the line.

Secure it

After finding your dream digs, you want to be able to sign the contract as quickly as possible. Here's where organisation comes into play. It is vital that you have all the paper work and funds necessary to secure the property once you have decided on the home for you.

Firstly and probably most importantly, you need to make sure you have enough money to put down a deposit as no letting agents will enter into a contract without one. The deposit tends to be equal to seven weeks rent but can vary depending on the letting agents and the property itself. It is also important to make sure you have saved enough money for any agency fees, as some people can overlook these when planning the cost of rental properties.

Some agents require tenants to provide a guarantor; this is to ensure they receive payment if you fail to pay your rent. Your guarantor can be anyone who can prove they have the funds to pay your rent, should you have trouble paying it yourself. This could be your parents, a trusted relative or friend, having their details to hand and a proof of their income will help speed up this process.

Some landlords also insist on character references to ensure that their tenants are not trouble makers or likely to ruin their property. Having the details of any previous landlords or employers as a character reference, will also gain the landlord's trust, helping to make this process a lot quicker, and ultimately help you secure your ideal home.