Property experts have revealed their best advice for renters who are navigating the property market. 

Recently, reports have suggested that the number of available homes to rent across the UK has fallen by a third. This, in combination with an influx of renters, has led to what experts are calling a “renting crisis” in cities across the UK.  

With this in mind, property expert Adam Betteridge offers advice to prospective renters on behalf of property experts Buzz Capital.  

Be on the ball - and cover all bases

Adam commented that: "being on the ball is crucial when securing a property in such a competitive rental market”.

“Sign up to email alerts from Rightmove, Zoopla, and PrimeLocation. SpareRoom and RoomGo are good places to find shared accommodation. SpareRoom also offers a free trial of their Early Bird Access service, which is a great way for prospective renters to maximise their chances of finding accommodation.

“Contact city-specific estate agents and ask to register your details and to be notified of any new properties. Many estate agents will advertise properties on their own sites before putting them on property portals - giving on-the-ball property hunters an excellent head-start. Some properties are also advertised on social media groups. Proceed with caution in these cases.” 

First impressions can make or break your application 

“If you manage to secure a viewing, make sure to attend on time. Let agents know of any delays before time. If you decide not to view the property, try to cancel at least 24 hours ahead. You may use this landlord or letting agent in the future, so making a good first impression is key. 

“We recommend smart casual dress. Ask lots of questions while at the property - this communicates interest.”

A memorable cover letter is crucial

“A cover letter will make your application stand out, particularly with private landlords. Introduce yourself, briefly summarise your interests, career and financial situation, and explain why you are interested in the property. Tailor your cover letter to each property. Communicate what you like about the property. If you’re applying for a house with a garden, a note about how you intend to keep it tidy never hurts.” 

Organisation is key - Gather all supporting documents before viewings 

“If you’re interested in a property, try to make an application immediately after viewing it or the following morning. If you’re currently employed, gather four months of payslips. You will also need bank statements from your current account. 

“Many agents specify a minimum earning for a property. If your salary is less or you are currently unemployed, don’t panic. Attach statements from any savings accounts and ask family members or friends if they are willing to be a guarantor. Attaching a bank statement from a potential guarantor before being asked for one can show the landlord or agent that you’re serious about a property. Include character references from an employer and, if it's good, show evidence of a credit score.”

Consider adjusting your expectations 

“Popular neighbourhoods within cities are becoming increasingly expensive, and their rental markets are highly competitive. 

Many prospective tenants limit themselves to the centre of cities. In our opinion, this is a mistake. 

“The majority of UK cities now offer excellent bus routes, and less sought-after locations typically boast independent shops, bars and restaurants and more green spaces."