How overheated is the London property market?
On an average 7 tenants chase 1 rental property in the UK, in London this ratio can be way higher. Years of not enough housebuilding coupled with mass immigration meant that number of people looking to rent a property is tenfold higher than properties available.
As competition is intense, you need to be meticulous in your search and miss no opportunities to rent a property. We recommend a four pronged strategy:
a) Get properties from all channels
b) Planning of viewings.
c) Highlighting positive personal circumstances.
d) Decisiveness and offer.
The next section will break this down in more detail.
Many tenants today focus on one single website for listings example Zoopla or Rightmove to rent a property. Today landlords are listing properties directly on number channels like open rent and gumtree. These mediums on most occasions do not involve estate agents allowing you make direct contact with landlords. We highly recommend to collect the available properties from all channels and not relying on one website or source.
Once you have shortlist of properties available, leave aside 1-2 hours to call estate agents/landlords and organise viewings. Most tenants leave the viewings till weekend and in such overheated property market properties listed early in the week are gone by weekend. We recommend to plan as many viewings as possible in a day and potentially take a day off to cover all viewings. Once you are viewing a property, make the most of your viewing by referring to checklist here. On an average a tenant must conduct 10-15 viewings to get a rental property of choice.
Personal circumstances sometimes play a key role to negotiating the rent and securing a property. Example, if you are a professional couple you are likely to be preferred by landlords. Similarly employees of large corporations with permanent employment are also considered “safe bet” by landlords to rent a property. Another good example of positive personal circumstances can be to prove you are long term tenant willing to commit for 1 year without break clause. This will mean you are going above and beyond standard contract terms of 6 months commitment with 3 month break clause. There is no harm is letting the landlord be aware of your positive circumstances.