Looking for a rental property can be time consuming and sometimes quite disappointing but as long as you sit down and decide exactly what you are looking for and what your budget is, the process should be a lot easier.

First of all, think carefully about the type of property you'd like to rent and which best suits your lifestyle.

For example, if you are only there during the week, a small place might do just fine. If security is important, then a ground floor flat may be out. If you have a car, then a parking space is a must.

Do you want furnished or unfurnished accommodation or would something that's just part-furnished be okay? Often it doesn't make much difference to the rental price.

If it's furnished and you are sharing with others, do you trust them to look after the furniture - because you may lose some or all of your deposit to pay for damage even if they are responsible for it?

Other key questions to ask yourself:

  • Is a purpose built shower essential or can you make do with a shower attachment in the bath?
  • What facilities are there for washing and drying clothes?
  • Does the property have all the appliances you need?
  • Do you need a garden?
  • Are you prepared to share with someone else - if so, could you share with a live-in landlord?

It can be difficult to find good property to rent. Sifting through adverts in newspapers is hard work and the time from print to publication often means that by the time you see the ad, the property has long since been rented to someone else.

If you are prepared to share, you may be lucky and know someone who is looking for a flatmate.

If your workplace has an intranet site, find out if it has a section that lists properties for rent. Many universities and colleges have an accommodation office, so if you are a student, find out what yours has to offer.

You could even qualify for a council or Housing Association property if you have sufficient points, are on the waiting list or have a specific need.

Unfortunately, it can still be difficult to find good property to rent using these methods.

Many estate agents now offer lettings departments with a list of properties locally which are available for rental. So, a trip to the high street to pop in to each agents is well worth the time. The lettings staff will also be able to explain the whole procedure to you so you know exactly what will be required from you when you finally decide on a property.

These include deposits, guarantors, references and tenancy agreements – all things you need to think about before you rent a property.

There are also a number of online sites with advice on how to go about renting, and with properties to let which are also well worth a visit.

Even before you start searching for a property to rent, it's important to understand the legal aspects of being a tenant.

When you become a tenant, you take on certain responsibilities in exchange for certain rights. Your tenancy agreement will typically be about five pages long and very detailed. It lists your responsibilities so read it carefully. As a minimum, it will show:.

The names of the landlord and tenant
How much the rent and deposit is
When the rent will be reviewed
The address for the landlord or agent who will be looking after the property.

The main things you must do are as follows:

Pay rent on time - normally one month in advance
Pay other bills. In most long-term lets, you'll be paying council tax, utilities (including water), TV licence and telephone charges
Respect neighbours - so no making noise, putting rubbish in the wrong place or obstructing common areas
Look after the property.

The agent's job might be to market the property, arrange signing of agreements and payment of the first month's rent and deposit.

After that, you may find you are dealing directly with a landlord who will look after the management. However, most landlords tend to leave the management up to the letting agent.

The good news is that you are not expected to maintain the building - that's the landlord's job. But you should behave in such a way that the building is properly cared for.


For more details and tips on how to get the best out of renting visiting www.rightmove.co.uk