Revealed: How to secure the perfect home if you’re renting

Revealed: How to secure the perfect home when you’re renting – including avoiding agents who lure you with photos of properties that look NOTHING like the ones on their books

  • Mayank Mathur and wife Valerie, from Urban Collective, have revealed top tips
  • Couple, who run app to help renters find home, say you should draw up shortlist
  • They say you should start your search around two months before you move  

Finding a home to rent can be a long and exhausting process – but now experts have revealed their top tips for securing the perfect property.

Mayank Mathur and his wife Valerie, from the Urban Collective, say you should avoid time wasters who try to ‘lure’ you with photographs of properties that look nothing like the ones on their books.

The couple – who run an app and bespoke concierge service to help renters find a home – add that you should come up with a shortlist of two or three good properties, rather than having your hopes set on just one.

Here, Mayank and Valerie tell FEMAIL their top five renting tips….

Renting experts have revealed their top tips for finding the perfect home – including avoiding time wasters who try to ‘lure’ you with a property that’s not actually on the market 


Mayank and Valerie advise that you start your search at least two months before you intend to move into your property.

‘Starting early is the biggest advantage you can give yourself. Start by working out your exact requirements, and prioritise the “must haves” and “nice to haves,”‘ they explained.

‘Your priorities need to be front of mind when viewing or negotiating for a property to ensure the best outcome.

‘Not allowing enough time will leave you at the mercy of the market and estate agents and you could end up having to make sacrifices.’

They added that those looking to move should note that the number of properties and competition for each varies significantly depending on the season – with summer being the busiest time of year.  

Mayank Mathur and his wife Valerie, from the Urban Collective, run an app and bespoke concierge service to help renters find a home 


The entrepreneurs say that renters should be aware of estate agents looking to waste their time – by luring them with amazing properties that don’t actually exist.  

‘Sadly the lettings industry is plagued with time wasters. One common trick is showing a ‘dream’ property online to lure you when it’s never available in the first place,’ the experts explained.

‘If you call an agent and hear that the place you’re interested in has “just been let” but they have some “similar” options that you might like – they’re probably best avoided. 

‘If you’re planning on meeting an estate agent, ask them to send a list of properties they have available before confirming – that way you can vet them before wasting time on a meeting.’  


Having two or three good alternative properties on your shortlist can put you in a strong position when it comes to negotiating. 

‘Even if you don’t have alternatives, remember to keep your cards close to your chest,’ the experts explained. 

‘If you’re 100 per cent certain you’ve found the right home, for the best price, don’t let the landlord know how much you want it.

You should come up with a shortlist of two or three good properties, rather than having your hopes set on just one (file photo) 

‘If they think they’ve undersold it, they might be inclined to advertise it again for a higher price or even try and increase the charges.’ 

The couple added: ‘You shouldn’t feel pressured into accepting terms you’re not happy with.’  


Mayank and Valerie say that you should check what you’re committing to when you’re signing an application form. 

‘Some of estate agencies are asking money upfront as a “holding deposit” before putting forward the offer to the landlord some of them don’t,’ they explained. 

‘Some of them guarantee that if for some reason the offer is not accepted the holding deposit will be refunded in full, some of them may get a cut for their expenses and some keep the entire holding deposit! 

‘Make sure you know before signing up to anything.’ 


The renting experts say you should ask for a money breakdown of all the expenses you might be liable for before handing over your deposit, including an inventory check. 

‘If you can’t find or it is not clear in the application form, ask the agent under which circumstances you are still at risk to lose your deposit,’ they said.  

‘When you find all the ways you are eligible to lose your deposit and you are still confident that you can comply with all what is required, ask the agent to write and sign on the application form that they will refund the money in full if all what is required can be supplied.’

The Urban Collective has now launched a Seedrs campaign to allow members of the public to invest in their company. 

What should you know about a property before renting it?  

How long it’s been on the market

If it has been on the market for long, the landlord may be more willing to accept a lower rent than the asking rate.

Size of landlord’s property portfolio

Does the landlord own multiple properties or just a single property? 

If he just owns a single property, he/ she may be dependent on the rental income to pay for the mortgage, whereas a larger landlord may think of his overall portfolio income first.

This can make him or her more flexible on tenancy terms like monthly rent, break clause, minor improvements to the property. 

General condition of the property

Any factors that may give you some space to negotiate a discount on the asking rent? Is the furniture worn down? Are there minor repair works that would ideally be needed but that you are willing to do without?

Comparative rental information

By now you have hopefully done some research to find out the asking rent on comparative properties in the area, as well as the rent the current tenants of the property are paying. 

Also check out if the property has been listed on other sites for a lower price, or what the previous rents for this property.

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