Finding the Ideal Property to Rent

By: Carolyn Jameson

The mere thought of having to find a property to rent, whether this is your first go at it or you've become an experienced pro, can leave an undesirable taste in your mouth. Why? It almost always seems that every apartment that you've looked at (or will be looking at, if you're new to this) seems to come up a bit short of what you really want (at least, among those in your price range). But not to worry, as with a bit of planning, you'll be surprised at how smoothly and successfully your efforts can go!

Firstly, you need to decide upon the type of property you want to rent. Perhaps a one-bedroom flat will suit your needs nicely, or maybe a two-bedroom country house is more to your liking. Make a list, prioritize, and be open to suggestions, change and compromise; likewise, be aware of those features you aren't willing to sacrifice at any cost.

Secondly, check online to browse the available flats and houses. To make your life easier, there are a few quality websites that aggregate listings, as they exist solely for this purpose. Again, make a list and prioritize; be open to suggestions, change and compromise. For example, maybe you really don't need that second bedroom in order to keep the superb view of the city within your price range. Or maybe gas central heating is more important to you than living close to the train.

Thirdly, when you find a property that you're interested in, be sure to research the building, the general area, and the landlord. A quick web search for the landlord's or management company's name will often tell you whether the tenants are treated well. If the property of interest is one in a larger development, you can always take a leisurely stroll during the day and ask quick, simple questions of any tenants you might see.

Likewise, you can get information on the neighborhood's crime rate with a web search or by asking a knowledgeable realtor or someone who lives there. Alternatively, you can take a stroll through during the evening and observe the neighborhood for its typical social behaviors.

Above all, be mindful of your priorities, and do your homework! With so many resources available (both offline and online), there's no excuse to get into a lease that will leave you unsatisfied.

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