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Navigating the Rental Market; Tips and Tricks

Estate Agents   |   October 4, 2023   |   Wright & Co Estate Agents

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There are several benefits to renting a house and this is often the first choice for many looking for somewhere they can call home. However, renting for the first time can be a daunting process and the rental market is quite competitive. To ensure you’re not missing out on the perfect house for you and your family, it’s important to be well-prepared and informed when you start browsing the rental market. 

To help first-time renters or anyone interested in renting, below we have put together some valuable tips and tricks to help you navigate the rental market successfully. From finding the ideal rental property to negotiating the lease agreement, we’ve got you covered.

Research the Market

It’s useful to have an insight into the rental market before you start viewing properties. Take a look at some rental listings online and contact a local estate agent to find out more about the current market. By gathering some basic information, you’ll be better equipped to make informed decisions during your search for the perfect house. 

Some essential aspects to consider include;

  • Current rental prices – It’s beneficial to gain a better understanding of the average rental prices in your desired area. This information will help you set a realistic budget and negotiate with landlords.
  • Cities, towns and villages – Research different areas to find the one that meets your needs and fits with your lifestyle. Consider factors such as; amenities, proximity to work, public transport links and safety. 

Set a Budget

Whenever you’re navigating the rental market, it’s essential to determine a realistic budget. It’s important to carefully assess your financial situation and calculate how much you can afford to pay in monthly rent to prevent financial problems in the future. A clear budget will guide your search and prevent you from overspending.

Think about the following factors when determining your ideal rental budget;

  • Monthly income and expenses – Evaluate your current income and calculate how much you can comfortably spend on rent. Remember to account for other common expenses such as utility bills, insurance policies and groceries. 
  • Future commitments – You should consider any financial commitments you have coming up and how they will impact your ability to pay monthly rent on time. Always be realistic about what you can afford to avoid financial strain.

Search for Rental Properties

Before browsing the rental market, it’s helpful to establish your specific requirements. Consider factors such as number of bedrooms and desired facilities. This step will help you narrow down your options and focus your search on properties that align with your needs.

There are a few different ways to search for rental properties once you know what you’re looking for, including the following; 

  • Online platforms – There are lots of reputable online platforms you can use to explore available properties in your chosen area. You can filter listings and narrow down options based on your requirements. Not to mention, you can even set up alerts for new listings that match your criteria.
  • Local estate agents – If you’re struggling to find houses to rent online, it’s beneficial to reach out to an estate agent in your local area. They can recommend properties and provide access to exclusive listings. Estate agents can also offer valuable insights and guide you through the rental process. 

View Properties

Once you’ve got a shortlist of potential houses, you should schedule some viewings. Seeing a few properties in person will help you to decide which is the best choice for you and your family. It’s recommended that you view a house before you put an offer in or apply to the landlord.

Use the following tips to get the most out of your property visits;

  • Ask questions – Prepare a list of questions to ask the estate agent during the viewing. Inquire about things such as maintenance responsibilities, lease terms, utilities and any specific restrictions.
  • Take notes – It can be useful to take notes and pictures on your mobile phone during property visits. This will help you remember the details of each house and make informed comparisons later.
  • Check for red flags – Pay attention to signs of poor maintenance or potential issues that may affect your living experience. Inspect the property thoroughly inside and out, and take your time during each viewing.

Apply and Negotiate

In competitive rental markets, lots of people can show interest in the same property. It’s beneficial to have your references and deposit ready to make you a more desirable tenant. Presenting a complete application can increase your chances of securing a rental property and also put you in a better position to negotiate with the landlord. 

Here is some advice for this stage of the process;

  • Organise important documents – Ask an estate agent what you will need to present to the landlord and gather all necessary documents. Having these ready will help to prevent delays during the process. 
  • Prepare for negotiations – If there’s something you’re unhappy with and you believe it’s negotiable, let your estate agent know. Whether this is the rental price, lease duration or certain restrictions, they can negotiate with the landlord on your behalf. 

Looking for Houses to Rent in Sawbridgeworth?

Hopefully, the information above will be beneficial if you’re interested in renting a property. Navigating the rental market can seem daunting, but our team at Wright & Co is here to help you find a rental property that suits your needs and preferences. We can provide you with the support and guidance you need throughout the rental process, and we’re only ever a phone call away to put your mind at ease. 

If you’re looking for houses to rent in Sawbridgeworth and the surrounding areas near Bishop’s Stortford or you have any questions at all about the current rental market, contact our experts today. We’re always happy to help.

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