Looking for somewhere to rent? There’s a lot to think about. Obviously, finding somewhere that’s affordable and comfy will be your prime concerns, but marrying these two important factors isn’t always as easy as it sounds.

For this reason, it’s a good idea to have a mental checklist when you’re searching for your new rental home. You need to approach looking for a rental property in a different way to how you’d source somewhere to buy, but many of the same points still apply.

Here’s a five-point checklist to finding that home-sweet-home:

1. Let the properties come to you

If you know which area you’d like to live in, don’t simply wait for one to come up on your favorite property search engine. Get in touch with local estate agents and lettings companies and let them know exactly what you’re looking for. Tell them the property type, number of bedrooms and rough monthly calendar rent expectation and let them do the work. You may find that you get to see properties that haven’t been published on the internet or in the local paper, giving you a head start on many of your fellow property hunters.

2. Get testimonials about the local area

If you’re looking to move somewhere new, a quick trip to view a property is never going to tell you all you need to know. Therefore, use the internet as your guide – search for crime statistics, find out about local amenities and even ask for testimonials on forums and social media sites – some towns and villages may even have their own websites where you can contact local people for their opinions.

3. Don’t get sidetracked

When you’re viewing a property, don’t let the good features distract you from the bad. The house may offer good views or a sizeable garden, but does it have double glazing? Is there a smell of damp? It’s highly unusual to have a survey on a rental property, so you may only find out about problems when it’s too late.

4. Think about security

Security is something that can often be missed when you’re viewing a property. Check that main doors have double or triple locks, and take a good look at the windows. It’s something you may well be glad you’ve done in the future.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask for more

Generally happy with a property but think you should have more? Tell the agent.  Want the carpet to be replaced? Or a fence fixed? In many cases, landlords can claim on their landlords insurance to sort these problems out, so they may well be happy to oblige if it secures a quick deal.

Post by Alex