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Helpful Advice

Five Ways to Seal a Rental Deal

Five Ways to Seal a Rental Deal

By Peter Barry

In London, the rental market can be exceptionally competitive for those desirable properties close to a station, offer a garden and the all-important parking space. If the demand outstrips the supply, you may need to be ahead of the game in being able to secure such a gem. So, how can you maximise your chances of landing your dream rental

One viewing, one decision

Chances are, popular properties will have potential tenants queuing round the block so make sure you and your partner or flatmates all attend the viewing together. That way, everyone has the opportunity to ask questions, and to make a quick decision if need be.

Get your finances in order

If landlords have a choice of tenants, they’re going to be swayed by those who have deposits ready. A holding deposit will usually secure a property, so if you can make a decision quickly, have this ready to transfer to the letting agent asap in order to take the property off the market.


It’s a good idea to line up some references in advance, or at least have names and contact details of previous landlords or employers – you may be required to supply a character reference, as well as proof of employment and income via bank statements or pay slips.

List of requirements

This obviously needs to be flexible as it’s unlikely you’ll find a property with absolutely everything you’re looking for. Ticking 8 out of 10 boxes with a rental property is probably quite good going depending on availability. However, if a tiny second bedroom or road noise is a deal breaker for you or your housemates, then check the details first and don’t waste your own time with a viewing.


If you or your flatmates are self-employed or on a temporary work contract, you might have trouble backing up your references. Some agencies and landlords simply refuse self-employed tenants as standard practise. Line up a guarantor to help speed up the process and to bypass the potential reference failure hurdle.


The key to securing a rental property is preparation: if you have everything in order and are prepared to make a quick decision, you’ll put yourself in the best possible position. Landlords like tenants who are proactive, financially secure and reliable. Agents will be keen to get the best applicants into the property first as the existing tenants will want to keep viewings to a minimum. Be prepared and you may well be the lucky tenant collecting the keys to the most desirable rental property available.