How Does Renting Work?

So the landlord isn’t renewing my tenancy so I have to find a new property.
I’ve visted 3 so far ( one was earlier ) and not heard anything back.

My question is, is it first come first served or does the landlord/estate agent select which tenant they want ?

They all do it differently. Make sure as you leave you tell them that you would really like the place and ask what the next steps are. Then they should tell you if they have more to see and when they’ll let you know


Up here, in Scotland, it can be both,very much depends on demand. If you go down social housing routes then there’s various points systems all the HAs use here.

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It depends on how it is let as well, if its fully managed then the agent will look at it more of an affordability basis, where as if its managed by the landlord then it might be a bit more of a personality contest IMO.
Where are you looking to rent?

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Thanks guys
The one I went to visit today has sent an application form to the care company (whom assist me a few times every week)

Does everyone get an application I’m assuming?

In London usually, you have to pay a holding deposit which in most cases is equal to 1-week rent payment. If properly is available and you are interested property agent will ask you for this to take that listing off.

After you have paid the holding deposit they will normally do credit referencing and will also get references from previous landlord/agent. They will charge you extra for these checks.

If all the references are good for them they will ask you for full deposit and 1st months rent minus the holding deposit. At this point, they will also charge a check-in fee, if you are renting from a property agent.

Also, be mindful when you sign the actual contract usually there is a clause that Agent will charge a checkout fee. Don’t assume the these are fix fees always ask them if this the best you can do.

I’ll recommend checking Openrent because they don’t charge any silly fees. The only charge they have is I this £20 for credit referencing.

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Get ready for some crazy fees and charges. My favorite bit is where you hand a wad of cash to the estate agent for them to “do some credit checks” only for them to then come back and tell you “sorry but you don’t meet our criteria, oh and thanks for the £500 lol”


I’m so glad all that has been banned up here!


I find it so strange that credit file can affect renting when it’s your main priority bill that’s not reported. It might be the only bill you always keep up to date.

(I know there’s things to get your rent on it now)


And this is exactly why I’ve only used Airbnb since moving in the UK. The process of securing a rental here is absolutely crazy.

Can you do long term AirBnB rentals? That seems like so much effort.


It’s as if you enjoy spending so much more than you need to.


It’s really sad - I hear so many stories about dodgy landlords all the time.

I consider myself very lucky to have a good landlord, you tend to take it for granted when you do, but you do hear some horror stories. I think it’s a market that could do with a bit more regulation.

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Worse thing ever, i suffer from anxiety. Having to move home and constantly thinking will I find a place and will it be OK etc… Luckily i have my parents to live temporarily if i cannot find anywhere soon

It amazes me how different it is across the UK regions, we have an issue with slum landlords here which is being tackled but still a problem.

Here it’s illegal to charge anything other than rent and a deposit which can only be a max of 2 months rent.


You can but it doesn’t work out cost effective usually - the Airbnb commission is huge.

I usually rent a month or so with Airbnb and then if everything is fine I offer to pay the landlord directly. So far nobody declined and it lets me avoid the usual craziness around renting in the UK (compared to France where you can usually seal the deal within one or two days and don’t have any fees to pay upfront).

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Having rented four different properties in the last two years, they all work completely differently (annoyingly).

  • One took an application fee (charged even if you didn’t get it), landlord decided who they wanted (based on job, family dynamic, etc I assume) and then took a deposit AND first month of rent
  • Another took an application fee but was first come first served (so it was guaranteed unless someone else was viewing it the same day), then took the deposit and first month rent
  • Third took an application fee, landlord chose and then took a deposit (which also went towards the first month of rent)
  • The fourth didn’t want application fees and only wanted 20% of the first months rent to ‘secure it’. Rent was then paid on a monthly basis.

It genuinely depends on whether you’re dealing with a lettings agent or with the landlord directly. The Lettings agency will normally try and coerce every penny of you (normally over £1000) to apply for a house and make the landlord chose. Direct landlords usually ask for just a small deposit and accept people first come first served.

The renting market definitely needs some regulation…:exploding_head:


One took an application fee (charged even if you didn’t get it), landlord decided who they wanted

Third took an application fee, landlord chose and then took a deposit

This is absolute bullshit and I’m not why anyone put up with it. They’re essentially running an unlicensed lottery with the application fee being the ticket price, and the “prize” is the privilege to pay them even more down the line.

I’m glad application fees are going to be banned soon (from what I understand) but it was long overdue.

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There are good and bad landlords out there but there definitely needs to be a change in the law.

I would argue as a layman that a landlord/management company/agency demanding a prospective tenant to pay fees for credit checks, deposit, advance rent payments etc. where the property isn’t even guaranteed is such a one sided bargain, and so devoid of balanced contractual consideration, that it should not be an enforceable agreement and thus even if a tenant agrees to pay, should be entitled to their money back if they are not given the property. The contract should only really be formed if the tenant is going to get something in return.

But this is a hugely murky area of the law and a bill through parliament firstly banning the taking of payments where the house isn’t guaranteed and secondly limiting the number and type of ‘extra’ charges a landlord or his representatives can request, as has been implemented in Scotland, would be ideal.

Another area of absurdity is the student renting market in particular – where inexperienced tenants are being exploited. Often converted HMOs are letting one small room with shared amenities for the monthly price of half of a house or more, with the addition of all the mentioned surcharges with even more besides. As these tenancies are generally limited to an academic year, a student then must repeat the whole saga of charges each year, forking out money repeatedly that they can ill afford for no other reason than to generate profit.

It is not surprising to see examples of people opting to make informal licensee arrangements with landlords directly rather than purchasing leasehold estates given the behaviour of unscrupulous corporations and commercial landlords leeching all they can from the market.

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The fact a prospective tenant is supposed to pay to cover the agent’s risk is nuts. These are risks of doing business and should be included in the agent’s fee/commission and should definitely not be paid upfront especially if you don’t end up getting the property.