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How to beat the rental crowd and secure your dream home ARLA guides prospective tenants through the process of renting

Renting a property can be a daunting process, especially as demand for rental property continues to
outstrip supply*. Market conditions in many areas mean prospective tenants need to be prepared
and ready to make an offer as soon as they are happy, or face losing their dream property.

Susan Fitz-Gibbon, President of the Association of Residential Letting Agents said: "Many agents are
currently low on stock and tenants could risk losing out if they are inefficient in their bid.
Competition is fierce, so it is important that you are in the best position possible to successfully
secure a tenancy; this means having a deposit ready, preparing your references, and being able to
move quickly.

"It is vital that prospective tenants are prepared and comfortable with their decision as soon as
possible. Having all your ducks in a row is crucial to speed up the process and improve your
attractiveness, as it will ultimately show the landlord and agent that you are a serious bidder."

The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) has prepared the following advice for
prospective tenants looking to secure a tenancy on their dream property.

What do you want?

Draw up a list of property features that are 'must haves' and 'desirables'. If a property fails to tick the
majority of the 'must haves' on your list don't waste time viewing it and move on to properties that
have the features that you deem important. Properties rent quickly, so filtering out the ones you are
not interested in or are unlikely to put an offer in for will increase your chances of viewing your
dream property sooner.

Be flexible

Consider being flexible around when you book to view rental property. Most people will view
property in the evenings after work or during the weekend. Try taking time off work to look at
property during the day, this will increase your chances of seeing something before anyone else.

It is also a good idea to view multiple properties during the same appointment; viewing three or four
properties will help you understand the value of the property and give you a better idea of the rental
market. Remember, you may have to refine your expectations about what your budget will get you
once you have a better sense of the market in any one area.

Prepare your referees

You will be asked for a reference when renting a property; having this information ready - so the
letting agent can conduct the relevant checks - could enhance your chances of securing a rental
property ahead of those who are not as prepared.

Source - ARLA http://www.arla.co.uk/media/503309/how-to-beat-the-rental-crowd-and-secu... (14th February 2014)

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