The rental market in Britain moves very fast. If you are looking to rent, you need to spread the net wide in order to find the right property at the right price.

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  • Once you have chosen an area to live in, contact as many of the local reputable letting agents as you can. Make sure the letting agents you choose are members of PrimeLocation and the Association of Residential Letting Agents.

    Keep in touch

    The rental market moves even faster than the sales market, so it really helps to build relationships with the letting agents. Make sure that they're clear about what you want, and that they know you are a serious applicant. Here are some tips to help you get the most from agents:

    • Demonstrate that you're serious - a 'hot' prospective tenant will be top of mind for agents when suitable properties arise
    • Tell the agent which of your property requirements are fixed and which aspects you may be a little more flexible about
    • Don't waste time - avoid looking at properties that are out of your budget range, or that you have no intention of renting, as this will not endear you to the agent
    • Give feedback - after viewings, provide as much feedback to the agent as possible, including what you liked and disliked, and why

    If there is nothing suitable on a letting agent's books immediately, keep phoning (preferably daily) to see if anything new has come on. If they don't hear from you, they'll assume you've found something elsewhere and your details will be put 'on file'. 

    You may want to use a property search agent to carry out the property searching on your behalf.

    Ask questions

    When viewing a property to rent, have a good look at the condition of the property. Does it look tired, or has it been well maintained? This will give you an insight into the kind of landlord you'll be dealing with. Ask the letting agent how long the property has been on the market as there may be room for negotiation if it has been empty for a while. Read our dedicated rental property viewing checklist to understand more about questions to ask and things to look out for at the property.

    The inventory

    When you've found a suitable property to rent, the letting agent or landlord will conduct an inventory check. Be present while they do this, as it's a record of the state of the decorations as well as furniture, kitchen equipment and so forth. It will be used at the end of your tenancy to determine any damages or losses for which the landlord can deduct a payment from your deposit. Read our renter's guide - tenant advice to find out more information about being a tenant.


    Be aware that letting agencies can levy certain charges before you move into the property. They may charge you for checking your references, for preparing an inventory or for drawing up agreements. Read more about how to rent a house for more advice.

    Related information

    Some information contained herein may have changed since it was first published. PrimeLocation strongly advises you to seek current legal and/or financial advice from a qualified professional.

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