As soon as you see a property you like, what is your first instinct? Do you book a viewing straight away? Do you compare it to another property you’ve also fallen in love with? Is it worth playing the waiting game? You’re bound to ask yourself all of these and more, but patience isn’t always a virtue when it comes to house-hunting.
For those outstanding properties that have it all, there’s bound to be a long queue of people looking to rent it. Any flat or house with, say, a large garden, driveway and easy access to the main road is bound to be snapped up quickly, so how do you get to that highly desirable property before everyone else? We’ll tell you how in this handy blog post.
Check the latest properties for rent
The eagle-eyed prospective renter should check property sites daily to see what new flats and houses are available for rent. To do that, simply visit a site and, when asked to filter your search results, select properties listed within a day. This will give you the most recent properties to come up on the market.
If this isn’t possible, see if you can filter the list of homes for rent so that the most recent listings come up first. Doing this will increase your chances of beating other possible tenants to the home of your dreams.
Book a viewing straight away
Talking of listings, as soon as you see one for a property that piques your interest, book a viewing as soon as possible. Look for the estate agent’s phone number, website and/or email address, make a note of them and get emailing or ringing.
When booking a date, choose the earliest one that’s most convenient, but ensure that you have enough time to prepare all of your important paperwork. Also, see if you can book a morning or afternoon off at work; most people like to book viewings during late evenings or weekends.
Prepare your paperwork
To save you time when renting a property, have all of your important paperwork ready. This means finding the following:
- Your passport
- Your most recent bank statement
- Your most recent gas, electricity and/or water bills
- Your references
- Proof of employment from your employer
Have it all ready in a drawer or folder. Then, when you’ve made your decision, you can get all that out and make the phone call to the estate agency straight away.
Check your finances
Another way to be one step ahead of the competition for renting a desirable flat is to ensure all of your finances are in check. Not only does this mean finding out if you have the money to cover the cost of renting and paying a deposit, but it also means checking your credit score.
You can do this either by going through your bank or building society or directly through a credit reference agency such as Experian or Equifax. This is to show that you’re capable of managing your money effectively and that you aren’t piled with debt.
On the subject of finances, for popular properties, some agencies may ask for a small reservation fee. If this is the case with your property, have the amount needed spare in your bank account.
Get some references
Before you begin to look for a property, you’ll need a few references to prove that you’re responsible enough to look after a home. These should come from previous landlords and your present employer. For the former, these should be for the last three years at least, whilst the latter must come from your line manager or, better still, the boss.
To ensure you’re prepared in case someone gets that flat ahead of you, have a few copies of those references ready if you see somewhere else you’d like to move into.
It doesn’t take a lot to be at the head of the queue for renting a property. It’s just a case of being alert and having all the money and paperwork to hand; if you do that, you’re sure to beat the crowds and get the flat you’ve wanted for so long.