Available as in you could move in? or available to look at from next week? The thing to do is call first thing tomorrow and arrange the earliest possible viewing time. Take everything with you, ID, bank statements, anything you can think of (in fact ask on the phone what they require for their references and what their fee is.) Once they have your application fee they legally can't take one from anyone else. Good luck. Fwiw, it would be very unusual to accept a place without a viewing. When I worked in lettings we wouldn't allow people to put down an application fee without first having seen the property.
You never know. Often the renting and buying departments are completely sepreate though. It would be nice of them to waive their reference fee but tbh the mark up they make on it is ridiculous (think a £150 charge for a service that costs them £22 ) so I wouldn't bet on it. It's even worth calling now and leaving a message- we went through our messages as priority first thing, they should get back to you asap.
If you're about when it opens, be there at opening time, with all your paperwork. Insist on a viewing asap, and ask very very nicely to be the first to view. Just be nice to them I guess. Personality does come into it. If we liked someone, we were far more likely to recommend them to the landlord, who ultimately has the last say on the tenant, though a clean reference check is enough for most landlords to say yes. Be grovelling, and leave a very clear message NOW with your name and phone number, stating your intention to be at the office tomorrow.
At least 3 months of bank statements, something with your employment details, so payslips or a contract. Phone bills or utility bills. And a form of photo ID. If you're planning on renting with a partner then they need to be there with all paperwork too. You won't actually need it til AFTER you've viewed the property, but it'll be appreciated and show you're serious. Don't be put off if you can't view immediately. If there are still tenants they have to be given reasonable notice of viewings so it could be a couple of days.
Went in yesterday at 9am as you suggested...they had just had the keys for the property and the letting lady was going to view it/check it today at 2.30pm. They have other viewings later this week/weekend and so I begged her to let us view it first so we went at 3pm today and, long story short, have applied to rent it!
Should find out tomorrow......thanks for the advice x