Choosing a property to become your new home.

There are many reasons why more and more people are renting property rather than buying. Flexibility is one, and this can lead to you moving more often than home owners. With an increasing number of rental properties available to you, but also more tenants searching, it is more important than ever that you understand the system.

As a starting point, use to identify properties you would like to view. You can contact agents directly or use us to contact them on your behalf.

Once a viewing has been arranged, ensure that you are prepared so you obtain the information you need from the viewing.

Check things such as: How well the property is maintained; Storage; How the property is heated; What the utility bills are; What furniture/white goods are included; Is security of the property adequate? eg window & door locks, area lighting etc.

The local area is as important to you as the property itself so check that out at different times of the day as traffic, street lighting, noise etc can change throughout the day.

Once you have decided which property you would like to rent, there can be a rush to complete the paperwork before other prospective tenants, so preparation is key.

Be prepared to pay a cash holding deposit after agreeing to take the property. Ensure that you're given a receipt.

It is now a legal requirement that all deposits are held in a Tenancy Deposit Scheme to protect all deposits.

Agents will ask you for lots of information. If you can prepare as much of this in advance as possible, this should improve your chances of securing the tenancy.

You may be asked for references from your employer and previous landlords, along with bank and ID details, copies of passports are usually required.

Think ahead if you may be asked to provide details of a guarantor. You can prepare details to pass on to the agent if necessary.

There are lots of questions you may wish to ask the agent so that you can be as prepared as possible before you move in.

Are any bills included in the rent? Are communal areas covered by the rent or is there an additional service charge?

Is the length of tenancy negotiable? Will you be able to renew at the end of the tenancy? What would the fees be for this?

Once these questions have been answered and all the paperwork completed, then you can look forward to enjoying your new home!