Written by Martin Lane

Renting a flat or house gives you your own space without the ties of a mortgage but it’s easy to get ripped off. Here’s how to get the best pad for your pound.

With house prices still high and banks tightening up their lending criteria, getting on the property ladder is more difficult than ever before.

So if you’re looking at renting but don’t want to pay over the odds here’s how to find the best rental for your money.

Set a budget

What do you need?

Research the area you want to live

Test the property don’t view it

Quiz the agent

Deposit Protection


Although it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to get a large discount on your rent, even £10-£20 a month will add up over the course of a standard 6 or 12 month tenancy.

If there proves to be little flexibility where the rent is concerned consider what bills (if any) are included. Some landlords may be willing to cover the costs of some utilities if pushed before you sign.

Remember once you’ve signed the tenancy you will be tied into the rent and the terms you’ve agreed, so you are only in a position to improve your deal before you commit.