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Top 5 ‘no-viewing’ tips for tenants

June 14, 2021

Would you sign a tenancy agreement without a physical visit to the property in question? According to behaviour analysis by Twentyci – a data agency specialising in home moving activity – an increasing number of renters are agreeing to let a new home without going on a viewing.

Would you sign a tenancy agreement without a physical visit to the property in question? According to behaviour analysis by Twentyci – a data agency specialising in home moving activity – an increasing number of renters are agreeing to let a new home without going on a viewing. 

Twentyci concentrated on rental properties that were being marketed with virtual viewings, and found that two thirds of prospective tenants who had seen a property exclusively using a virtual tour would sign a tenancy agreement without making an in-person visit.

Reasons for signing up without seeing

There are natural peaks in the property market when the supply of homes to rent doesn’t always keep up with demand. During these periods, houses and flats can be let within a matter of days – even hours. Tenants who have missed out previously may find they stand the best chance of success by signing up to a property based on the online listing alone – especially if they are signing a short let agreement.

Tenants relocating from out-of-area and those moving from overseas are also more likely to sign on the dotted line without seeing a property in the flesh, as the distance to travel and speed at which decisions need to be made are not always compatible.

More recently, tenants are exercising caution in the wake of the Covid pandemic when deciding to visit properties. Thankfully, the quality and quantity of visuals aids now available for tenants to review can be enough to come to a decision, especially in a fast moving market. 

How to reserve a rental without a viewing

Competition for rental properties can be fierce and the latest ARLA Propertymark report showed that a record number of new tenants registered with letting agency branches in April 2021. In fact, an average of 82 prospective renters joined the waiting list of every office, which is 10 more hopeful tenants per branch than in April 2020.

If you’re worried about missing out – or perhaps you haven’t got time to view a property in person as quickly as required – you can still make an offer on a rental. Here are our top 5 tips for making a decision without a physical viewing:

  1. Review the photos and/or virtual tour: take time to study the pictures that have been taken. Try to look at the photos/footage on a laptop or bigger screen and not just on your mobile ‘phone.
  2. Look at the floorplan: the floorplan will show you the flow of space and arrangement of rooms in a way photos can’t. Elements often missed – doorways, storage cupboards and windows – should be marked.
  3. Examine the measurements: use the measurements provided and compare these to the room sizes where you live now – it’s the best way to truly understand the space that’s on offer without standing in the property.
  4. Use Google Street View to explore: Google’s Street View function is a great way to check out the immediate area without visiting the neighbourhood.
  5. Ask if there’s a video: it may be possible for an agent to take a video of the property for you to view or sometimes, they can FaceTime call you from the property to create a ‘live’ viewing scenario.

If you are looking for a new rental property and need advice about making a successful offer before someone else beats you to it, get in touch with our lettings team today.

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