The summer rental market can be an incredibly competitive landscape as droves of people look to relocate for summer jobs, internships, before the new academic year, or just a seasonal change of scenery. Open rentals are in high demand but short supply during the warmer months. As a renter it can seem impossible to find your perfect place when you’re up against so many other eager applicants. With the right preparation and strategy, you can beat the competition and secure a great summer lease. Follow these tried and true tips to rent in even the toughest of summer markets.
In the competitive summer market, you can’t just browse listings online and expect to find your ideal rental. You need to be aggressively proactive in your search. Old fashioned methods still work, and one of the most effective ways to get a leg up is to directly engage with rental and leasing agencies.
Take the time to visit agencies in person and get yourself on their mailing lists, so you can receive alerts when new properties hit the market. You may even be able to book viewing directly there and then when you visit. When you do see a listing that looks promising, call to enquire immediately and try to book a viewing. Be ready to move fast, because great rentals go quickly at this time of year.
With limited rental inventory during peak summer months, you’ll likely have to flex on your ideal rental wish list. Being too rigid or specific with what you’re looking for will severely limit your options, so go into your search with an open mindset and willingness to compromise. For example, you may have to consider other neighbourhoods beyond your original location. Broaden your search area even just a little, as you might find previously overlooked gems.
If you had your heart set on a newly built luxury high rise, you may have to be open to an older building with more character and compromised amenities — there are always opportunities to put your own stamp on it and modernise the space.
While it’s good to have a general criteria, don’t turn down a place that’s otherwise perfect just because it’s missing one thing you hoped for. With peak demand during the summer, you’ll likely have to bend on something. Staying flexible will open you up to more possibilities and increase your chances of finding a rental in your timeline.
Searching for a rental (at any time of year) will go more smoothly if you get all your ducks in a row ahead of time. One key way to prepare is to organise a guarantor before you even start looking, if you think you may need one to qualify. Having a guarantor ready can give your application the edge, but isn’t always required.
If a guarantor is requested, make sure to get all the paperwork signed so you can submit it immediately when applying. Alternatively, you can provide previous landlord references, proof of income such as payslips or bank statements, or look into schemes that provide guarantor services.
It’s important to bear in mind when choosing your guarantor that they must have an income equivalent to 3.5 times the annual rent, as they are effectively agreeing to pay the rent in the event you are unable to. However, it is possible to have more than one guarantor, provided those designated with the role can collectively meet the equivalent income total.
You’ll also want to take stock of your finances and ensure you meet affordability requirements for the properties you’re viewing. Most landlords look for tenants who earn at least 30 times the monthly rent, so check what that figure is with the agent. Before you get your heart set on listings, sit down and realistically calculate what price range you can comfortably afford based on your income. Knowing your budget will streamline your search and prevent you falling for something that’s out of reach.
Once you start receiving rental listings from your search efforts, make sure to thoroughly review each one before pursuing it further. Scrutinise the listing details to ensure it will realistically work for your needs. For example, are the rooms large enough for your needs? Does the availability date align with your move-in timeframe? Many rentals will have fixed start and end dates that you can’t adjust, so the dates need to line up.
Also look at the minimum lease term, as some places require longer commitments not feasible for a summer stay. Check through the full description for any dealbreakers like a strict no pets policy, or if any work is planned for the space, and carefully vet listings upfront to rule out any non-starters which will save you time from having to inquire about rentals that ultimately won’t work.
Only once you’ve confirmed the listing particulars meet your needs should you follow up with the agent to ask questions or schedule a viewing. Doing your due diligence reading the fine print first prevents wasted efforts chasing rentals that aren’t viable options. A little extra scrutiny can make your high-demand summer search more efficient.
The hard work has paid off and your offer was accepted on a summer rental! Don’t relax just yet, though. To seal the deal on your new place, you’ll need to move swiftly through the final steps of the rental process. In the summer market, every day that passes is a risk of another applicant swooping in.
As soon as your offer is accepted, you’ll need to put down a holding deposit. Julie Twist request a deposit equivalent to one week’s rent, and will ask for payment via bank transfer. The holding deposit is crucial because it officially takes the rental off the market and secures it as yours. Make sure payment is submitted as soon as possible and preferably within 24 hours of notification.
You’ll also need to promptly follow through on completing the full rental application, such as signing the lease. Your agent will be eager to get this paperwork wrapped up so they can move onto other summer listings, so be responsive to any requests and turn documents around quickly.
The summer rental rush can seem daunting when you’re up against the crowds of other eager renters. With determination and the right strategy, you can still find your ideal place even when inventory is low and competition is fierce. By following these tips and then acting swiftly when you find a match, you’ll be primed for rental success.
Written By Annie Button
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