Study with a map
It pays to get a list of as many properties for rent as possible, and plot them out on a map. This may require some work, but it will give you a sense of the marketplace. Which properties are more expensive than others, and why? How is rent determined, and what are the features? Look at the map for proximity to schools, shops, motorways, and public transportation.
By taking the time to do a preliminary study of the properties for rent, you can make a list of the amenities you yourself need and create a better budget plan.
Visit rental properties
By physically visiting the properties, you’ll explore your preliminary ideas of the whole marketplace (your map study) and truly get an overall view of what it’s all about. You’ll also sharpen your intuition, and, chances are, you can spot bargains much more easily as well. Visit properties that don’t really interest you – you’ll have points of comparison. Visit properties that interest you a lot – you’ll see what you might have to pay for. Visiting many properties will also give you an idea of how agents and owners deal.
Prepare your finances
Make sure you have all the necessary funds when you move in. Consider your budget and always pay your rent on time. This is not only honourable and a sign of good housekeeping, it also ensures you have the right to call the landlord or agent when things don’t go according to plan or you need repairs done. Giving your bank the order to pay a certain amount every month automatically once your salary arrives saves a lot of headaches as well.
Do an inventory before moving in
Check out the furniture, the pots and pans, the tools, etc. – and make a written inventory. Make sure to list down what condition they are in, and if possible, include it in the contract, or at least have the landlord sign a paper agreeing that the said items are in such-and-such condition. This will avoid problems and arguments later on when you decide to move out and get back your deposit. Also, don’t forget to check the plumbing and electrical appliances and report any problems to the landlord or agent immediately.
Make an offer
Many people seem shy about this – but the price you will hear from the agent or from a landlord is an asking price. If the property has been vacant for a while, it may be possible for you to get a lower rental price. Even a discount of £50 amounts to a great holiday extra at the end of the year. And don’t be afraid to barter. You already have a ‘no’ – you just might get a ‘yes’ if you try.
Checking out rental property can be fun and exciting – and there’s no better feeling than moving into a rental property knowing you made the right choice. And whether you are looking for a flat to rent in Colchester or houses for sale in Brentwood, always make sure to choose a reputable, knowledgeable, and experienced estate agency as well.