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Step-by-step guide for securing an apartment to rent

By Sophia Wood-Burgess

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You wake up, you check Rightmove... You brush your teeth, you email an agent. You catch the train, you confirm the viewings you’ve got scheduled for your lunch break, then, check your email again to learn the property you liked has already been let… and all the while, your deadline to move looms closer.

Rental application success

Ready to submit your offer? Login to your My Foxtons account.

Searching for a home to rent can sometimes feel like a second job.

So, when you find the property that feels like home, you’re understandably keen to secure the property and make it yours. This five-step guide will help you close the deal:

London rental market

1. Get to know the market

The first step in finding a home is to research the area (or preferably, areas) you’re looking in. Look at asking rent prices on homes that include the requirements you’re looking for: What do two-bed flats go for? How about flats with outside space, or close to the Tube? See how quickly they're being let. The more you know about the market, the better equipped you are to get ahead.

How to get a flat

2. It pays to be agile

When you go to view a property, are there other people viewing before or after you? Do you find, when you make an offer – or even put in the request to view – the properties have already gone? Then, you may need to pick up the pace.

In fact, if you’ve done your research and walk in with a plan and a strong understanding of what you’re looking for, you could make an offer during the viewing or just after, with an agreement that the property will be taken off the market immediately.

Let us know what you're searching for, and we can help you find it fast. Register with My Foxtons and we'll let you know right when we have new listings that match your search.

How to rent a flat in London

3. Embrace the opportunities

The London lettings market is fast paced. It is to your advantage to be well organised and prepared to act quickly once you've found the right place.

Think carefully about your requirements, what's necessary and where you can compromise:

• Some renters choose to be a bit more flexible so they can move quickly - a communal garden instead of private, a bus ride to the station instead of a walk, moving one station further down the line.

• Then there are those who budget a bit more for rent to secure the apartment that suits all their needs. This may mean they'll be less inclined to leave in a year or two. After all, moving is expensive!

Either way, we recommend you start your search early and plan ahead.

tips renting in London

4. Sweeten the deal

Other than the obvious - offering a higher price - there are a few ways you can get in a landlord’s good books to secure a rental agreement:

• There is greater peace-of-mind in a longer tenancy agreement – moving out is costly on all sides. So, if you’re able to commit to your new home for a few years, both you and the landlord can save.

Guaranteed income is a strong motivator, so if you’re planning to pay several months in advance, it may be worth a discount.

Becoming a tenant

5. A fine, upstanding tenant

Most landlords aren’t just looking for the highest bidder. This is their investment in London property, which may serve as a nest egg for their children or their retirement, and may have previously been their home. A tidy tenant who respects the property is important. Once you've submitted an offer, they’ll check your references, your payslips and your credit. However, even before all that, if you show yourself to be organised, polite and punctual from the start, it will reflect well on your offer.

The crucial thing is to make a timely offer. If you viewed the property with Foxtons, you can submit your offer by logging in to your My Foxtons account:

More articles to improve your rental experience:

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