In the current climate, the volume of people renting property is far higher than those that are buying. Once you have decided that you want to rent a property, you need to research the market carefully. It is advisable to rent through a regulated agent such Oliver Jaques who through the property Ombudsman have to follow a strict code of conduct.
The internet is a valuable tool in your search for a property. Have a look online to find agents who are advertising properties that interest you in your areas of choice. They will have the most up to date properties available for you, and most agent’s websites are updated on a daily basis. Also, look in local property newspapers and magazines.
If you have friends, family or colleagues living in your area of choice, speak to them for recommendations of the agent that they used. Research the agents that you have found, don’t be drawn in by large corporate companies, in many areas there are independent agents, who whilst may be relatively small they may have been trading for a number of years. Longevity is a good indication of the service that you will receive and also their knowledge of the area.
Ensure that that they are members of the Property Ombudsman and of other regulatory bodies like NAEA, ARLA or UKALA. These companies have strict codes of practice, therefore agents who are members of these should be taken more seriously.
Once you have a shortlist of potential agents, call into their office, this will give a feel for what they are like on both a professional and personal level. It is imperative to discuss with the agent all costs that will be incurred for renting, such as tenancy agreements, administration charges, credit reference fees and check-in costs. Nobody wants to be surprised with hidden charges.