The CSJ Guide to renting a property

Whilst more legislation in the private rented sector has been designed to protect tenants, it has at the same time made the process more complicated. Here is a guide of some useful tips to help you make it as easy as possible.

Get ahead of the game

Renting, especially in London is extremely competitive, with several tenants to every property available. The pace of the market can be surprisingly quick, so its best to get prepared before you start registering with lettings agents. When you start viewing, you may only have hours to decide as to whether you want to go ahead with a property you like.

A good starting point is to agree a budget, where you want to live, do some research on the portals, narrow down the criteria so you can be decisive when you need to be. It is also worth checking your credit score with a company like Experian, just to make sure there are no hidden surprises you weren’t aware of. Most lettings agents will take formal references, so if you are also currently renting, ask you current landlord to keep an eye out for any requests for feedback.

Register with Lettings Agents

There is no point registering with every letting agent in your target postcode. Start with the handful that seem active in the area for the price range and property type and concentrate your efforts on those few. A great deal of opportunities arise before a property reaches the property portals, so a good working relationship with those selected agents could reap rewards, the power of local intelligence cannot be overstated.

Viewings and Offer placing

Make sure you view enough properties to make you confident that you have found the right one when you have seen it, but then be decisive with making any offers, competition in the market is always fierce especially in London, and you won’t be the only one interested in wanting to rent it.

Remember when you make an offer to make clear the price you want to pay, the length of the contract needed, make clear any requests for any maintenance or furniture requirements before you move in.

Property Management

An increasing number of tenants insist on renting fully managed properties for complete peace of mind. Renting a managed property has the benefit of a dedicated Property Manager to handle maintenance and your day-to-day issues, a 24-hour helpline with contact details should an emergency arise and the assurance that your property is fully compliant with all safety regulations.

Know Your Stuff

Any reputable and responsible landlord or lettings agent will advise you of all their obligations under statute towards tenants, but how do you know in advance you are dealing with one of those? There is long list of compliance matters you need to consider whether deposit registration, safety certification or the Tenant Fees Act. Do your homework make sure the tenancy is being created compliantly and the property is safe to move into.

Subject to Contract

Creating a tenancy is a contract just like any other, so it normally takes a couple of weeks to get everything ready. In addition to references being taken, a tenancy agreement needs to be signed, ID and Right to Rent checks concluded and the property prepared for move in. Once done, time to look forward to moving day!

If you would like CSJ to help you find a new property, you can start you search here.

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