First time tenant guide

How to Find a Place to Rent

Before you start looking

Have a careful think about what sort of property you want and which best suits your current lifestyle

  • Do you have a car and therefore need off street parking or a garage?
  • Do you own a lot of furniture so need an unfurnished rental, or own a little so part-furnished would be more appropriate?
  • Have you just left university and have no furniture so need a fully furnished place?
  • If you choose a furnished or part furnished you will have to look after the furniture or will lose some or all of your deposit to cover damage.
  • Do you want or need a garden for yourself, children or pets?

Where do you want to live?

  • Do you need to be close to work or your children’s school?
  • If you don’t drive do you need to be close to public transport links?
  • Do you want to be close to town for nights out?

Once you have done this make a list of your essential search criteria

Where should I look?

Your Move offers a number of ways to find rental property that is available now.

Use our rental search and adjust the filters and advanced features to narrow down the search to find exactly what you want where you want.

Sign up for property alerts to find out about new to market rental properties. This gives you access to the My Move part of the website where you can save favourite properties.

Go into your nearest Your Move branch and speak to your local Lettings expert who will help you find your rental. You can discuss your needs with them, and they can advise the best areas to match your criteria.

BEWARE: Whilst we appreciate it can sometimes be frustrating if you can’t find the property you want to let immediately, please don’t be tempted to try to find one by posting a request for a property to rent on social media. We’ve heard of tenants who’ve become victims of social media scams and have been affected both financially and emotionally as a result.

If you think you have been/are being affected by a rental scam, please gain support from Action Fraud via its website https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/a-z-of-fraud/rental-fraud or by phoning 0300 123 2040. Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime where you should report fraud if you have been scammed, defrauded or experienced cybercrime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In Scotland contact Citizens Advice via https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/scotland/consumer/scams/reporting-a-scam/ or by phoning 0808 164 6000

Arrange Viewings

The only way to really get a feel for the kind of property you might rent is to arrange some viewings.

Go through your list of favourite properties then arrange viewings via the website, or ask the branch renting the property. Many lettings agents offer video tours or virtual viewings so you can get a feel for the property and whether or not it's right for you before visiting it in person. 

Take your list of criteria with you on the viewings to make sure the property is a good match. It is also a good idea to make a list of questions to ask – here are some important ones:

  • How much is the rent per calendar month?
  • What is included in the rent?
  • What additional bills are there? What is the likely cost? If it’s a house-share, how are the bills split and who pays them?
  • How much deposit is needed? Where will my deposit be protected?
  • What permitted payments do I need to pay to set up the tenancy?
  • Are there permitted payments further down the line if I choose to renew the tenancy?
  • How long is the contract?
  • What notice period is needed when I want to leave the property?
  • Who should I contact in the case of an emergency?
  • What insurance does the landlord have to cover the property? What insurance do I need to cover myself?

Check our tips on going on a viewing.

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