Can You Find a Rental Home in Just One Week?

Can You Find a Rental Home in Just One Week?

March 21, 2017

Can You Find a Rental Home in Just One Week?

Searching for a rental property is something which can easily take several weeks, or even months. Finding somewhere which is just right is sometimes a struggle, because there are so many factors to weigh up; price, location, space and amenities all bear consideration, and finding somewhere which ticks all these boxes is tricky. On occasion, though, you might not have the option of waiting several weeks to find the right place – if you’re suddenly forced to find a new home at short notice, what can you do to avoid ending up somewhere hugely inappropriate?

Timing is Everything

             Firstly, with a limited timeframe, you’ll have to make every day count. The first thing to do is make a shortlist of what your new home absolutely must have – you need to know where compromises can and can’t be made. This helps you to make decisions quickly, which will be an important part of finding a flat at short notice; if you have to live within a 30 minute walk of work, you can’t budge for a property that’s further away. However, if you could put up with a house that has no garden, then you could potentially compromise here.

Remember, you aren’t buying the property, just signing up for a tenancy. Depending on the length of the contract, you may only be obliged to stay there for a few months, during which time you can find somewhere more suitable. It’s better to find somewhere that’s at least tolerable in the short term rather than having to go sofa-surfing at a friend’s house.

Make Yourself Available

If at all possible, try to schedule viewings for daytime during weekdays, as estate agents will be freely available then and you’ll have your pick of timings. This makes it easier to view several properties, and make a decision quickly – if you can say yes to a property before anyone else does, you’re more likely to get the tenancy.

Make a checklist of the key points you’ll want to raise during a viewing, like checking the rental amount, tenancy period, what’s included in the rental fees and what you’ll be responsible for as a tenant. Failing to find out the answers to these questions could lead to an unwelcome surprise further down the line, so clear them up as soon as possible to avoid confusion.

Be Prepared

             Taking on a tenancy will always require some paperwork to be filled out, and since this is standard practise you can make a head start on it before you even begin looking. You’ll need to provide a few documents to prove that you’re a worthwhile tenant, so make sure you have these vital pieces of paper to hand:

Passport: You must be legally entitled to rent in the UK, and will have to provide your UK passport to prove that you’re a citizen. If you aren’t a UK national, you’ll have to obtain permission from the Government and provide evidence of this.

Proof of Income: Your landlord needs to know that you’re able to keep up rental payments, and as such will need to see evidence of your earnings. Usually the last 2-3 months of pay slips and a reference are acceptable, but for those who aren’t earning or are self-employed a guarantor might be necessary.

Proof of Address: You may be required to present proof of your old address, which many tenants provide with an old bill. As long as it has both your name and the property’s address on it, it will be acceptable.

Landlord Reference: You must provide a reference from your previous landlord as evidence of “tenant-like” behaviour; if you’ve left rent unpaid or caused major damage your new landlord will hear about it. Check that you have an up to date contact for your old landlord, and notify them that they may be contacted in the near future.

 Be Ready to Pay the Deposit

             A large part of securing a property when you find it is putting down the security deposit; it’s all well and good saying you want to rent someone’s flat, but drag your feet on putting down the money and it’ll likely end up going to someone else. Be sure that you understand how much the deposit will be, and that you can afford to pay it. Don’t forget to factor in any fees that are payable – although rental fees for tenants are set to be abolished soon, they’re still in effect, and tenants will likely be liable for some administrative charges.