To think finding a place to rent shouldn't be this hard?

(24 Posts)
bobthetomato Wed 24-Jun-15 22:29:02

We need to move by the end of next month.

On paper, we should be the ideal tenants: husband in full time work, decent income, glowing references, non-smokers, no pets.

But no matter where we look, each property seems to have at least five prospective tenants applying for it. Some places we've called tell us they're not booking any more viewings, just hours after the ads have gone up on Rightmove.

We're looking far and wide, including Hertfordshire, Kent, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Essex and West Sussex, and it's the same everywhere. After making dozens of calls this week, I've got just one confirmed viewing, along with about 10 other would-be tenants coming to see the same property.

I'm really grateful that we are in a fortunate position, and can't help but wonder if it's this difficult for us, how on earth do people in more challenging circumstances find a private rental?

fustybritches Wed 24-Jun-15 22:34:57

I sympathise, it's a nightmare.

Have you tried looking at the local paper for the area? Smaller agents advertise there rather than big expensive websites like rightmove.

olgaga Wed 24-Jun-15 22:38:17

I think you need to narrow your choice of where you want to live.

Ideally go and see the Letting Agents, get registered, have all your documentation with you. Make personal contact with the agents.

Then call them every weekday morning to see if there's anything likely to become available.

Good luck!

Blondie1984 Wed 24-Jun-15 22:39:38

Also try spareroom.com - there are entire properties on there as well as just rooms
And maybe gumtree?

DoughDoe Wed 24-Jun-15 22:43:44

really? What is your budget?

hellinabreadbasket Wed 24-Jun-15 22:53:19

Check the new website ''on the market'' - a lot of estate agents had to drop Rightmove or Zoopla to go on there, and I don't think people have caught onto it yet

KayAdams Wed 24-Jun-15 22:55:29

We were relocated and the removal manager said that it's easier to buy a house than to rent at the moment. I think because house prices are so high, the demand for rented accommodation is sky high.

Good luck, though x

bobthetomato Wed 24-Jun-15 22:55:39

Thanks for the replies.

I've had a look on Gumtree but didn't find much there. I'll check out spareroom.com.

really? What is your budget?

We can't afford to spend more than £1,300 for rent and commuting costs combined. So it's either lower commuting costs and higher rent, or higher commuting costs and lower rent. There are properties out there that meet this criterion, but everyone seems to be chasing after them.

olgaga, we're nervous about narrowing our choices, since it's hard enough getting viewings in just one area before they're fully booked up. It's literally hopeless to attempt to view a place that's been advertised longer than two or three days.

Good idea about local papers, fustybritches. We'll see whether we can start checking out those, too.

Fatmomma99 Wed 24-Jun-15 22:56:53

They don't. I work with them. It's horrendous and far, far worse if you're on housing benefit.

I could effing kill the Tories.

DoughDoe Wed 24-Jun-15 23:05:52

"I could effing kill the Tories."

But it was that evil cunt Blair who created this mess.

BlueBlueSea Wed 24-Jun-15 23:09:38

Build a relationship with the agents in the area you really want. I got out last place by phoning the agents every few days and being very chatty. We were shown ours without it being marketed or viewed by anyone else.

wellysrule Wed 24-Jun-15 23:24:04

wow, makes me feel really lucky to have found my home 9 months ago. Passed a house with an estate agent 'to let' sign outside of it, rang, got a viewing very quickly and the estate agent was, possibly against the grain, fantastic. He said, that as long as I told him the truth he would swing it my way. Yes, I'm a single mum. Yes, I have a dog. Yes, I have (minimal) help from housing benefit. But no, I have never in 15 years of renting defaulted or missed a single payment on rent, and yes I can afford the rent each month. But I'm on the fringes of the country. Ways to find private rented (word of mouth, internet, newspapers, etc) may be the way forwards?

cantbelievemyeyes Wed 24-Jun-15 23:39:10

We had the same problem, moving from the North to Hertfordshire a few months back. Anything that looked nice had people queuing up to apply, and one we liked had decided to get prospective tenants to bid above the asking rent- whoever offered the most would get it. No way were we getting into that nonsense. It was more difficult as we were hundreds of miles away so couldn't view at short notice, and had a pet.

I contacted all of the agents in our search area, gave them the heads up and we did get some useful suggestions. They were all properties that weren't so desirable- noisy locations, rubbish bathrooms and/or kitchens, dodgy decor etc. We did find one that was OK bar the crap bathroom/ water damage from leak/ damp from condensation and took it as we had so few options that worked timing wise. After the trauma of that move we'll be staying here as long as they'll let us- it may take some years before I can face dealing with the rental market round here again!

olgaga Thu 25-Jun-15 00:01:33

bob the point is you go in to the Let Agents in (say) your top 3 areas and sell yourselves as ideal tenants.

Just like you would as potential buyers when looking to purchase in a des area.

You need to be one of the people they call BEFORE the property goes on RM.

olgaga Thu 25-Jun-15 00:04:38

And yes, meant to empathise too wink. It's a dispiriting rigmarole but you're looking in places with very high demand for both sake and rental.

WinterOfOurDiscountTents15 Thu 25-Jun-15 00:46:31

You've got one confirmed viewing from SIX different counties? Rightmove shows about 10,000 properties to rent in that wide net for under a grand a month.

PartySmartie Thu 25-Jun-15 06:01:12

Ask everyone you know if they know of anyone wanting/planning to move. Most people I know who have found a place have found it before it's advertised.

MaggieJoyBlunt Thu 25-Jun-15 06:02:27

I'm really shocked. How do tenants ever move house? shock

How recent is this mad market?

bobthetomato Thu 25-Jun-15 06:10:59

BlueBlueSe and olgaga and wellysrule, that's very good advice. Thank-you. I hadn't considered trying to build a rapport with the agents, but that does make sense that they would rather get tenants without going through the expense of advertising.

Winter, when you rule out houseshares (we're a family so that's not an option), places with more than an hour and a half commute each way, and places where the commute is too expensive, that 10,000 whittles down by more than three quarters.

MaggieJoyBlunt, I would be shocked, too, if we weren't living this. Two years ago we had no problems finding accommodation. Although back then we were looking for a two-bed flat, whereas now, we want a three-bed place. Perhaps that's made a difference.

And don't get me started on the letting agents' fees. angry At one place we found, the agent's fees alone amounted to £650.

TurnOverTheTv Thu 25-Jun-15 06:16:04

The last two house I've rented, that I really wanted, I've had to sweeten the deal so they would pick me over the other prospectives. First one I offered slightly more rent. Second one I offered six months rent upfront. Is that an option?

Howcanitbe Thu 25-Jun-15 06:21:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FuckitFay Thu 25-Jun-15 06:21:30

I'm a landlord and when I last let one of my flats (really lovely flat in great area), it didn't even get advertised as the tenant had been viewing properties with the agent for a while, had missed out on a couple and came to see it first and took it. The agent obviously was keen to find her a property as she'd made it known to the agent what she waned and that she was a good tenant - they were able to say "your flat would be perfect for Pippa - she's desperate for a flat like this" and told me lots about Pippa so I was happy to let her view it immediately. So I think the best properties are unlikely to even come on the market.

NickyEds Thu 25-Jun-15 11:19:53

You have my sympathies. We moved into our new house last month after some very stressful searching. As you've found everything we looked at had loads of other people looking too. Many were gone by the time I called the agents- one said that in our area 3 bed houses go on Right Move at 9am are viewed by 12 and gone by 4pm.
Pp have given some good advice about the lettings agents. We went to every agent in the 3 main areas we were looking to move to. We introduced ourselves and explained our situation, selling ourselves, if you like. Our main "selling points" were that dp has a well paid, very secure job, we'd been in our last house almost 9 years and we were completely flexible with regard to moving ie we would take over the rent immediately. LL are often having to pay a mortgage themselves whilst the place is empty so offering to take it on as soon as possible is very attractive to them if you can afford it.You need to make sure that potential LL know this stuff. We then called the agents every couple of days. It's also worth asking who is in charge of renewals because they know the houses that are about to come up for rent not those that are already up.
Have a "reference pack" ready, all of your details, copies of three months bank statements, all names and numbers of referees, pay slips etc so that if you get to the reference stage you're good to go.

Ultimately YANBU though. We're good tenants with every box ticked and it still took us ages. A family member (who hasn't rented for 30 years) reckons he'll just walk into a rented place with CCJs on his credit reference but I very much doubt it. It's harder than ever to rent.

MaggieJoyBlunt Thu 25-Jun-15 19:00:46

Hopefully the next election will be the 'housing issue'.

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