One in three renters expect to move into their new home less than two weeks after making an enquiry, according to data from property marketplace TheHouseShop.
The data, which combines both private landlord and agency listings, found that 63.8% of renters who need to move want to do so less than one month after making their first enquiry.
Nick Marr, co-founder of TheHouseShop.com, said: “For the one in three tenants who are expecting to actually move into their new home less than two weeks after they first make contact with the landlord – they will need to ensure that they are responsive, organised and thoroughly prepared.
“When a tenant makes an enquiry about a property online, it can often take 2-3 days before they receive a reply – especially if the property is being advertised directly by a DIY landlord who will usually have a full-time job to worry about, as well as their buy-to-let business.
“Even if the landlord replies to the enquiry instantly, the landlord and tenant will need to arrange a time for viewing that suits both parties, conduct tenant referencing checks, sign contracts, manage deposits etc. before the new tenants can actually move in.”
“Leaving just two weeks to get from start to finish is definitely achievable, but leaves little wriggle room to handle delays.”
The data shows a clear peak in the number of last minute enquiries, where tenants state they need to move in under two weeks, in September, when students try to find properties before their university courses starts.
Most of these last minute enquiries were in big university tows such as Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Durham/Newcastle.
Younger renters are increasingly seeking out properties to rent direct from private landlords to cut out the letting agent middle man and avoid hefty admin fees.
The best time for a landlord to advertise their property is roughly one month before the date the property will next be available, as this will match the expected move-in time frame for the majority of tenants actively searching online.
Renters stuck for a short time between properties also have to consider the increased cost of removals and the cost of storage.
Taking the average UK rental value for October 2017 of £909 per month (source: HomeLet Rental Index), a void period of just two weeks would cost a landlord £424.20 in lost rent.