Abode – How to find your perfect home
- There is no central listing in the UK, so register with the 3 leading UK property websites:
Create a property alert but do be specific with your criteria or risk being inundated with property outside your brief!
- The major property portals are often out of date so use them to identify estate agents in your target area(s). You may need to target up to 30 as the UK has thousands of estate agents from national to regional chains to local independents.
- Familiarise yourself with UK property jargon! PCM (per calendar month), GCH (Gas Central Heating), “period” property (old), “in need of modernisation” (can require complete renovation to be habitable!)
- Register with your short list of estate agents on their websites and be specific about your requirements.
- Decide in advance your property criteria; the most important are: your budget, furnished or unfurnished, garden or outside space, on or off-street parking, number of bedrooms and bathrooms (very important as a 4 bed house may only have 1 bathroom!) garage and storage.
- Place calls directly (not via the property portals!) to the estate agents and ask to speak with their Head of Lettings or Head of Sales depending on whether you wish to rent or purchase and ask them to take your detailed requirements. Don’t expect estate agents to call you – understand that they only work on behalf of the landlords and they may forget about you if demand is high for a good property.
- Tell the agents whether you are moving with pets. Many UK landlords do not allow pets in their rental properties. An additional deposit may be required for tenants with pets.
- Check whether rental prices are quoted per week (more common in London) or per month. To calculate the monthly rent from a weekly price, times the weekly amount by 52 and divide by 12. To calculate weekly rent from a monthly rate, time by 12 and divide by 52. Ask the agents about their fees as these vary enormously although legislation is imminent on tenants’ fees.