Our Top 10 Tips for Tenants
Patrick Littlemore Thu 26 Feb 2009
Our Top Tips For Tenants
Theres not as much rental property on the market as there was six months ago meaning that there are now more potential tenants looking at the same property.
All hope is not lost if you follow our "Top 10 Tips for Tenants youll stand a better chance of getting your perfect rental property.
1. Get your references ready to go and referees prepped!
Any Landlord or Estate Agent will want to see these especially in the current climate
- Your financial or employment reference will probably need to show that the per annum rent is no more than 40% of your income
- Your Landlords reference will need to say that youve been a good tenant, paid your rent on time and how much your rent was as well as the fact that youve kept the property in a good condition
- If youre self-employed youll need to get your accountant to give you a reference
- Any bank reference you might provide should state that youre Good for the rental amount proposed
- Prepare your referees they should be expecting the enquiry from the referencing agent, Landlord or Estate Agent. Delays on their side could see you miss out on the property
2. Work out what your next rental property must have
- This isnt necessarily information you give your estate agent but if you dont tell them the full story they might waste your time
- If youre working with an agent tell them what sort of place youre in at the moment and why youre moving. There will be something you absolutely wont compromise on
- Remember what area you ideally want to look in but dont let it restrict your search, doing this means you wont get to see the best quality stuff
3. Start your search on the web
- This will give you a good idea of what property is out there and has been on the market
- If you know the estate agencies that are active in the area look at their websites not property portals, their own websites are usually more up to date
4. Serve Notice on your current rental property, if youre in one!
- Being able to move within a month is ideal. Sooner is even better and will get you preferential treatment by Landlords and Estate Agents
- Being able to move anytime within the next two to six months will not prioritise you
5. As soon as you see the property that matches the majority of your requirements, make an OFFER!
- Quality property rents quickly! If its the best youve seen its likely to also be someone elses best and youll be in competition with them. Offering first gets the landlord to focus on you and not someone who has yet to, Put their money where their mouth is
- If you have a list of reasonable requirements the most suitable property will match at least 60% of these youre renting not buying. If youre unrealistic about price, size or area this might only match 30% of your requirements, youll have two options if this is the case increase the budget you had set yourself and start your web search again or change area
6. Actually go to the areas you are considering moving to
- Boards will tell you what is available and which agents have it, a lot of these boards also now have a text service that will send details to your phone
- If youre not familiar with the area youll be able to see which areas are close to local amenities etc
- When in an area youll be able to register with local agents
7. Offer the longest rental term possible
- Landlords hate having their property empty. Avoid having a break clause at six months unless you absolutely have to. If you have no intention of moving out for 18 months then offer to take it for 18 months. Youll be much more favourable to the landlord
8. Offer Money Upfront
- Most tenants pay the standard security deposit and their first months rent when they move in. Offers below the asking price are sometimes being accepted by Landlords because the tenants are offering to pay two months rent or the first quarters rent in advance or in some cases the first six months (In addition to the security deposit)
9. Be able to move-in quickly
- Regardless of whether you are actually moving into the property or not, some tenants manage to get their offer agreed because they can move in (start the contract and pay) within the week (or sooner) of agreeing the offer
10. Dont look forever
- Why would you want to see endless rental properties for weeks on end? Set aside the time and if youre going out with an agent see as many things as possible. Seeing just one property per appointment will never give you an idea of value or a good idea of what is happening in the rental market. Be willing to spend at least an hour if youre viewing with an agent
- If youre looking privately its harder to see so many things as youre usually dealing with owners who have just one property to show you. Be organised and see at least three things whenever youre out