How to secure a rental property in a fast paced market

One in five households in England now rent their home from private landlords.

It's the second biggest way that people find a home in England, a smaller number than those who own their own but larger than those who rent social housing.

The other big fact is that there are more potential tenants than there are properties available, so landlords get to pick and choose and rents are high.

So if you're looking for a home to rent it'll come as no surprise that the competition to find somewhere suitable to live and the pressure to be accepted as a tenant can be quite intense.

With all this in mind, what can you do to make sure you're ahead of the pack when it comes to securing a rental property in such a fast paced market?

Read on and we'll give you the tips, tricks and info you need.


It can help to think of becoming a tenant in a new property in the same way as you might approach things if you were going for a job interview.

When you're just one of any number of people trying to secure the same thing you really need to stand out from the crowd - in a good way of course!

So the very first thing you need to do is to make sure all of your paperwork is ready, in place and up to date.

If you've rented before it can really help to have as many references from previous landlords or letting agents as possible. This can show that you are a reliable safe bet who can prove a history of paying rent on time, taking pride in where you live and keeping the premises in good condition.

Of course there's more to it than that - no one who lets out a property wants complaints about noisy or disruptive tenants, so everything you can do to show you have a good track record will stand you in good stead.

Banking details, job status and proof of income so that you can prove you can afford the rent - well, these are all obvious things that any prospective tenant must realise will be important to someone who is letting a property.

You can’t hire a car without a deposit and proof of who you are so why would a landlord simply just hand over the keys because you say ‘I’ll take it’?

There's also one other big thing that you’ll need proper paperwork for, and that's proving you have the right to rent.

Right to rent

It's a legal requirement for landlords to check that a tenant has 'the right to rent' in the UK.

These checks must take place before a new tenant takes up residence and there are big penalties for landlords who don't abide by the law. A letting agent can carry out these checks on behalf of a landlord and in many cases that's who you’ll be dealing with.

Having the legal right to live in the UK, and therefore the right to rent a property, is something that all tenants over 18 have to be able to prove, even if they're not specifically named on the tenancy agreement. And yes, all means ALL tenants, not just people who may have born in a different country.

Although this might sound a little scary, it's really not - you automatically have the 'right to rent' if you have the right to live in the UK.

This includes anyone with British or Irish citizenship, indefinite leave to remain (ILR), settled or pre-settled status under the EU settlement scheme, permission to be in the UK (on a work or student visa for example) or official refugee status or humanitarian protection.

So how do you prove it? It's really quite simple. Documents accepted range from a current or expired passport through to a certificate of registration or naturalisation, a UK birth certificate and driving licence.

You'll need to get an online 'share code' to pass the check if you have EU settled or pre-settled status, a biometric residence card or permit or an eVisa. Make sure you get a share code on GOV.UK and then give it to the landlord or agent along with your date of birth.

They can then use these to quickly check your right to rent online and give you the peace of mind that every box has been ticked.

Register with an agent

Fed up with always just missing on great rentals? Another way to get ahead of the pack is to register with a lettings agent.

One of the most basic reasons is that they will help make sure all your paperwork is in place even before you go to look at a property. This means the landlord will already know you are a good prospect and this can really speed things up when you find somewhere you like!

More than that, you'll receive a heads up on new suitable rentals even before they hit the big online portals, giving you the chance to be quick off the mark and get in there before the big rush. This can really be key to putting yourself ahead of the crowd.

When there is so much competition for each available rental property these things can really make a difference to your chances of securing your ideal new home. When you find somewhere you’d like to live, be proactive and let the agent or landlord know straight away.

Even in such a busy market we think that renting a new home should be as stress free as possible. So register with us as a tenant and let us be your property partner for life.