First time renters guide!
How do I make sure I’m notified of new properties?
You’re able to register to portals like Rightmove and Zoopla, where you’ll receive notification of new property listings that suit your requirements. But Leaders also offers you the chance to stay ahead of the game and to be one of the first to know about new properties with our mailing list. The rental market often moves quickly, meaning new homes don’t often stay available for long, so making sure you’re in regular contact with your local lettings agents is really important.
What is ARLA Propertymark and is it important?
ARLA stands for Association of Residential Letting Agents and is the governing body of the lettings industry. ARLA Propertymark agents are held accountable to a strict code of conduct and service level, so by working with an agent who follows this you ensure that your rental is handled by the book and your best interests are looked after. It also means you have additional protection – if you were not happy with the service you received from your agent, you could complain to ARLA Propertymark who would assist you in resolving the issue(s).
How many properties should I view?
If you are only looking at property in one area, I would say no more than 5 if you want to avoid looking at the same type of thing over and over again. If you are more flexible on the area and/or your budget then you may want to book a few more to ensure you’ve seen a good representation of each area and price range.
What references are required to rent a property?
The most important reference you will need to provide is one from your employer verifying that your earnings are as you’ve stated. If you have previously lived in a rented property, a reference from your previous landlord is required. You may also be asked to provide personal references – these can be from a friend or colleague who can vouch that you are who you say you are and that they believe you will be a good tenant.
Am I a suitable tenant?
A landlord’s ideal tenant is someone who pays their rent on time and doesn’t cause any damage to the property. That’s why we run through background checks on all prospective tenants. These checks highlight issues which may be of concern to landlords including; bad credit scores, previous rental arrears, debt, a criminal record or even if you’ve filed bankruptcy.
What if I’m not a suitable tenant?
Don’t panic if you’ve got a bad credit rating or previous debt, you may still be able to become a tenant by using a guarantor. A guarantor is a family member or friend, who firstly is a homeowner and is prepared to sign a contract stating that if you fail to pay your rent, they will be liable for it. This offers landlords added peace of mind that rent will be paid on time and in full.
Furnished or unfurnished?
Again, this one is down to personal preference and whether you already have your own furniture. Be careful not to fall into the trap of wrongly assuming that taking an unfurnished property will cost less to rent. If money is your sole motivation for choosing unfurnished, make sure you check with your agent that this is the most cost-effective option. Whichever option you go for, make sure it is crystal clear what state the home and furniture were in when you moved in and who is responsible for replacing or repairing it.