1. Set your budget

One of the most important pieces of advice we could suggest when looking to rent a home is, ensure you are fully aware of your max budget and all the other costs involved when renting a home. As a general rule of thumb, the property price of the home should be no more than 30x your annual salary. Also, you must consider that you will need to pay a deposit which we will cover later. Then, you can begin viewing homes based on your main priorities, do you need car parking, lift? Do you want a bungalow, house or flat? There are many different types of property so it's vital you do your research.

2. Book a viewing

Once you have seen a property you like the look of, contact the letting agent and they can firstly answer any questions you may have, then confirm a time for you to view. Some forward thinking letting agents offer virtual/video viewings if you are unable to make the viewing slot. If you like the home, let them know as soon as possible and they can advise you of the next steps.

3. Completing paperwork

Now the letting agent will ask you to pay a holding deposit to secure the property whilst they prepare the documents for the referencing process. This will include credit checks and reference checks from your previous landlord/s and a reference from your employer. They will also request proof of ID and current address for you.

4. Signing the paperwork

The Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) will be drawn up which includes all of the details including move in/out date, deposit paid, rent due on which date etc. It is very important you carefully read before signing. The security deposit and first month's rent is then taken and lodged with a deposit protection scheme (DPS) service.

5. Move in day

Now the exciting part! The first day in your new home! Before you move in, the letting agent will carry out an inventory to confirm the condition of the property before you move in. When you move out the same inventory will be used to confirm the condition of the property when you leave, you should be sent a copy of the inventory.

6. Moving out

When the time eventually comes for you to move out. You need to refer to your AST contract to check the notice period you need to give. When moving out, clean the property and ensure any damage you have caused is repaired as the inventory done before you moved in will be used to check any potential damage/large wear and tear. Any damages will be deducted out of your deposit money. After this, your deposit will be returned to you within 10 working days.