Do your research and figure out the specific areas you'd like to rent in. Make a list of the things that are really important to you, like transport links, schools, access to shops and use these to focus your search. Be sure to share your list of 'must-haves' and 'nice-to-haves' with the local estate agents so they can start working for you.
Be very clear about when you need to move into your rental property. If you need somewhere urgently, let the agent know. They'll be sympathetic and will do all they can to find you a suitable place.
Try to be available and as flexible as possible. Yes, we've said it before, but the lettings business is incredibly fast moving and when a good property comes to the market there can be a rush to view and offers are often made immediately. You could miss out if you can't make yourself available within 24 hours of the agent contacting you.
Don't necessarily be put off by details in the property. If you don't like the wall colour, or the sofa isn't big enough, have a chat with the agent. We encourage our landlords to be flexible and accommodate tenant's requests whenever possible.
If you want the landlord to undertake any improvement works, or add/remove furniture, put in your request as soon as you decide to make an offer. It can be much harder to get these jobs agreed once you have moved in.
Dotting the I's and crossing the T's
Once your offer has been accepted you'll need to hand over your deposit. The agent will be responsible for putting it into an approved tenancy deposit holding scheme and they should pass on the details to you - make sure you hold on to these.
All estate agents will need to conduct security checks on behalf of the landlord, so make sure you have details of all your previous addresses to hand. Likewise, let your employer, and any other referees, know to expect a request for a reference.
On moving day, make sure you have a box with all the essentials like milk, teabags, coffee and loo roll close to hand.