A survivor’s guide to home
Searching in London
for Tenants
------------------------------------
Date
Monday
May 15-2017
author
The Urban
Collective

Looking for a home to rent in London? Then be prepared for a whirlwind of a time over the next couple of months.

If this is your first time, you’ll quickly find out that giving leave notice at your current residence was the easy part! And if it’s not and you’ve already done it before, you’ll know that juggling your home search with your day-to-day life can be rather challenging. As a renter, I’ve moved 6 times in the last 15 years - on average that’s once every 2.5 years. However, I’ve found that there’s a method to help manage the madness…

So what should you expect? Here’s a 4-step approach that can help you make the most of your time and make sure that nothing falls through the cracks:

1 Prepare your search

  • Clearly define your requirements
  • Compile a profile for your dream property & brief (for agents) – don’t skip this step as it will help agents to know your requirements & you to evaluate the properties you view
  • Organise all of your personal & reference check documentation. Although a reference check is only required once you’ve made an offer, it’s helpful to prepare all of the necessary documents that you’ll be asked to provide in advance. Make sure you keep it handy to fast track the process.

2 Search for your home

  • Identify properties that match your requirements (via online searchesand reviews and estate agents)
  • Shortlist properties to view and organise viewings
  • View, rate, and select properties.

3 Secure your home

  • Negotiate with the landlord or agent on what you can. Depending on the area & market conditions, we’ve seen discounts of up to 20% off the listed rental price if you’re prepared to move in quickly. Furnished/unfurnished can make a substantial difference, and agency fees can usually be negotiated. The UK government has kicked off a consultation process in April 2017 to ban agency fee completely for the tenants
  • Make an offer & complete the reference check
  • Complete & sign all required documentation and the lease agreement.

4 Organise your move

  • Identify removal firms and cleaning servicesetc. and negotiate with all of them
  • Organise parking if needed
  • Do an inventory check
  • Arrange and set up of your required utilities; gas, electric, Internet etc.

This will help you to clearly brief agents on what you're looking for, in particular on all the criteria that you have listed as ‘must-have’ for you. In the absence of a clear brief, you may find that you are wasting a lot of precious time viewing properties that do not remotely meet your requirements.

For more advice, download our full toolkit in our Tenant’s Guide to a Smooth Move (for free) or you can learn more about our Sherpa services and how we can help you in your search and do the heavy lifting for you.

Happy home hunting!

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