The firm have outlined the pitfalls which frequently thwart a lettings application and how to ensure you're in the best possible position to secure a tenancy:
- Be upfront about credit issues. Openness at the start of the application processes is definitely a plus point as bad credit history doesn't automatically mean being declined as a tenant. However, if a tenant has kept something hidden it will usually be picked up on and would go against the application being accepted.
- Keep things smart. Many landlords now wish to carry out their own viewings so it is worth bearing in mind that first impressions count. This might seem trivial but it's often viewed by landlords as a reflection of the general care tenants would take of a property.
- Consider the extra cost of pets. Pets can also be a deciding factor for landlords choosing between tenants, however we generally find rural property landlords more accepting of pets. Be prepared though for landlords to ask for an increased deposit to cover any potential damage.
- The more disclosure the better. Landlords can sometimes tend to look favourably towards working families and professional couples although this is not always the case. Again though, potential applicants who should be upfront with their letting agent and give as much back ground information as possible.
- Be prepared to act quickly. Competition for good quality rental properties has never been so fierce, both in the rural and city centre markets. Excessive delay can result in missed opportunities as properties can go in a matter of hours / days. If you've found the perfect property be proactive in letting your agent know.
- Register on a mailing list. Early notification of new properties coming to the market can make all the difference.
Sean Cruickshank, lettings manager in CKD Galbraith's Cupar office, manages a range of town and country properties across Fife and Angus. Sean commented:
The rental market continues to see high demand and a shortage of supply. Competition therefore remains very strong so applicants using a reputable agent should be both decisive and open in their approach.
By using a letting agency tenants can ensure they are paying a fair rent for the area, legal requirements are met and if something goes wrong or repairs need to be done that the agent will be able to act promptly.
Tenants should also remember that fees for credit checking or administrative work are unlawful and should be challenged. Letting agents will act as the go-between' for tenants and landlords so choosing a reputable well-establish firm is as important as choosing the right property!