The insider’s guide to renting a property rapidly (and painlessly) by Marcus Arundell, @homeletsbath

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Marcus Arundell

Want to be in before Christmas? Here are our expert tips for finding a home to rent in Bath in a hurry.

Imagine you want to rent a property in Bath in a hurry – in time for Christmas Eve, let’s say. In a desirable city with a tight rental market, how would you go about it?

Step 1: pick the right area

Let’s be clear. If you’re looking for a typical family property – that’s a house in one of Bath’s suburbs – it’s not going to be easy. Families like to get into their new homes in time for the start of the new school year, and by the autumn most family homes have been snapped up.

If you’re not looking for a family home, things will be easier – but either way, the part of Bath that’s easiest to rent in is the centre. Think about it – what’s Bath famous for? Its Georgian properties. The majority of these buildings, and many Victorian ones, are divided into apartments, and Bath’s centre is packed with them.

Generally one or two bedroom, many of these apartments are wonderful places to live. You can be within a few minutes’ walk of central Bath’s renowned shops and restaurants yet tucked away on the fourth floor overlooking a park, the river, or one of those secret private back gardens that only residents know about.

Step 2: be totally prepared

Next, get all your ducks lined up.

• Make sure you have the money ready and waiting for your deposit and agency fees. Lettings agencies will take a credit card if absolutely necessary but it’s not a good move.

• Have your referees and potential guarantors lined up – make sure you have their approval, and ask them to be ready to respond immediately.

• Be ready to view a property at short notice. Or be prepared to get on Skype and allow us to walk you through a property.

Step 3: find a lettings agency prepared to move heaven and earth for you

It can take your typical lettings agency up to a month to get everything sorted out. Some will bend over backwards to get you in within a week – and we’ve managed to do it in three working days, but it’s not much fun and the stars have to be aligned.

Just make sure you contact your chosen lettings agent in advance, let them know what you’re after and how desperately tight your deadline is, and see what they say.

And finally… know your market

Bath is not only part of a strongly growing regional economy but also highly desirable in its own right. It’s that much harder to find a property at short notice.

But where there’s a will, there’s a way – especially if you’re prepared to sample the joys of city centre apartment living, just in time for the famous Bath Christmas market.

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