Competitive Rental Market: Expert Strategies to Secure Your Desired Property


Securing a rental property in today’s market can feel like a daunting marathon with an elusive finish line. The field of available homes has tightened, with renowned property site Zoopla revealing a drop by a third in the availability of rental properties since before the era of the pandemic.

As prospective tenants vie to claim the limited supply, how can one strengthen one’s hand? It’s common knowledge that a solid credit score and a prepared deposit increase your odds. Yet how does one sidestep the frantic bidding wars and long queues on tours, and win the favor of a landlord over other aspiring renters?

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Drawing from the wisdom of experienced agents and landlords, here are the proven tactics that ensure prospective tenants stand out from the crowd:

  1. Clarity and Speed

At the dawn of 2023, Rightmove reported a staggering 70% of rental listings garnered an email inquiry from prospective tenants in less than 24 hours. Tim Bannister, a property expert at Rightmove, emphasizes the importance of readiness and focus in this fiercely competitive market. Understanding your exact requirements from a home increases your efficiency and allows you to act swiftly when the perfect property pops up.

Supporting this perspective, Dan Wilson Craw, spokesperson for Generation Rent, stressed the necessity of having a clear understanding of your property needs. Clarity allows immediate action, a game-changer in procuring tenancies.

  1. Meticulous Preparation

Bannister advises prospective tenants to arm themselves with as much detailed information as possible, such as multiple references with readily available contacts. Openness about your situation, flexibility, and ability to cooperate with the landlord can significantly boost your application.

Generation Rent advises having a holding deposit equivalent to a week’s rent ready in your account and proof of income prepared.

  1. Broadening Horizons

When the ideal area proves elusive, consider expanding your search. Zoopla suggests utilizing a travel time search to explore previously disregarded properties. This could unveil potential homes that may appear geographically distant but are closer in commute time, thus widening your search to include more affordable locations or slower rental markets.

In an era marked by a significant surge in student populations and a mismatched supply of housing, Victoria Tolmie-Loverseed from the student housing charity Unipol encourages flexibility in location and willingness to commute.

By implementing these expert-provided tips, navigating today’s competitive rental market could become a more manageable task for hopeful tenants.