Frequently asked questions:

Rooms, flats, flatshares and houses

For contact details, perfect matching, email alerts, offers, your own mailbox and much more...

Landlords' FAQ

Cost and membership

Is the service open to all?

Absolutely! We pride ourselves on being an open and welcoming service. Traditionally we have attracted both high quality properties and home seekers from a diverse range of backgrounds. Our system filters and matches ‘critical’ criteria reducing the stress and workload of having to filter lots of information.

If I don’t let my property can I get a refund?

No. Your registration fee is paid in the same way as you pay for any other advertisement; it is not related to its ultimate success. Of course during the period that your advertisement is ‘live’ we will do out utmost to ensure it creates the greatest response, but we cannot guarantee a successful letting and cannot offer refunds should you fail in this aim.

Will I be contacted by home seekers not matched to my property?

Our system is designed, tested and secured to publish information only to appropriate ‘matches’. There is a small chance that someone looking for properties will find your ad, and contact you for more information, but we feel that this is an opportunity, not a detriment! There is also the possibility that a registered member of the service gives information to people who are either registered or matched to your property. This is outside the terms and conditions we impose on users and is considered to be a serious breach of contract.

Can I get assistance over the phone?

Yes. We are one of the few internet services that continue to provide telephone support and registration. Our staff has comprehensive training and experience in supporting users and are happy to help. (0207 287 4244)

Using the system

Why do some properties appear on my lists with criteria I did not ask for?

We have designed a system that takes key criteria and matches them absolutely and excludes any that fall outside of them. There are other ‘fuzzy’ matching criteria that will reduce the matching % of the property but not exclude them from appearing on your list. The matching system shows you the percentage to which you match, and the lower the match, the lower it will appear in the listings.

What is the matching system?

Once you have created your property (shared or not shared, flat house or other property) listing the system takes those requirement and shows you an overall match percentage (top right hand corner of each listing), and also a breakdown of how the overall matching percentage was arrived at (bottom of the listing)

There are 3 main criteria we use to come up with your matches:

Compatibility: This looks at personal information as entered by you and matches it to the listing. For example this matches information such as: do you mind smokers living in the property? What age range would you prefer living there? Would you prefer males or females living in the property?

Amenities Match: This matches your amenities in the property to potential tenants and tells you how closely your amenities match the requirements of the matching tenants. Be aware that this includes features such as Internet connections etc, which can be negotiated between yourself and the tenant!

Rent Match: This matches the rent price you are asking with the rent the tenant can afford or has chosen. This can either mean it is above or below your rent expectations so it’s still worth speaking to the potential tenant!

How can I increase Matches?

By widening your property criteria and decreasing the amount of rent you plan to charge.

How does the system work out the % of the match?

That question is like asking for a secret recipe. We have devised a unique way of gathering information and, using our experience, we grade a property's suitability for your requirements. Beyond that we’re not saying!

Searching for Potential tenants:

We have 4 different types of search. This is designed with some overlap, so you can use the search of your choice, with as much or as little detail as you chose: our Matching system, advanced search, Basic Search, and Browse by distance.

Matching system: This is based on your property listing you create after creating a profile. It is the best and strongest option is it displays to other users what you have to offer, when it is available, with what amenities and much more. (See information above)

The Advanced Search: Once you have filled out your personal information such as rent, location and other personal details on your profile this system works in two ways: thorough our ‘Browse by distance’ search ,and through your other personal details such as interests, activities and jobs etc. This is great for several reasons – For example: if you are looking for a potential flatmate you can find someone similar to yourself, or if you are a landlord that wants the tenants maintain the garden you can find people into gardening.

Search: This search engine, accessed from the home page, or through the links on the top left of the other main pages will allow you to do a basic search for tenants based on where they have set their search criteria to, so you can match their ‘seeking’ location to your property.

Browse by distance: This search is based on the location your have entered in your profile, and will show you tenant or flat sharer listings based on the distance from your chosen location

Why am I not getting many matches?

The system uses the information you provide about yourself and your needs to match you up. If you have been very selective this may have limited the number of ‘matches’ you can view. Alternatively you may have inadvertently made a mistake in the registration process that has affected the amount of information you have received. If both of these scenarios are not applicable it may be simply the case that there are very few registered users / properties in the area you are considering.

Why do some home seeker profiles appear on my lists with criteria I did not ask for?

We have designed a system that takes key criteria and matches them absolutely and excludes any that fall outside of them. There are other ‘fuzzy’ criteria that will reduce the matching % of the home seeker but not exclude them from appearing on your list. These appear in red text on the home seeker profile concerned.

How does the system work out the % of the match?

That question is like asking for a secret recipe. We have devised a unique way of gathering information and, using our experience, we grade a home seeker's suitability for your requirements.

Why do some home seekers keep reappearing on my list?

Home seekers need to be actively looking for accommodation on our site for their profiles to appear on your list. If a home seeker has not logged on for over 7 days we remove them. If, after a break, the home seeker logs on again, their details will re-appear on lists.

Why is it some home seekers are not on my list?

Not all home seekers will appear on your lists. This is because they do not match to your requirements or because your property is not in an area they are considering.

Why are there fewer home seekers registered outside London?

Metropolitan areas will always attract more prospective residents. The larger the population of a city the more home seekers it has.

Can I use my advertisement for other purposes?

Your advert can be used only for the purposes it describes. Our site enables properties to be matched to people. Any diversion from this activity is strictly prohibited.

Do you vet your members?

Our members are not ‘vetted’. It is virtually impossible for this to take place unless you work with an institution such as the police. However, our registration process is comprehensive and filters out ‘undesirables.’ In addition the fees we charge often act as a bar to those not seriously requiring our services. We also have a report abuse button on each listing so if there is something not right about the tenant ad, and it is reported we can review the listing to ensure it is not fraud or invalid. We also have a website, email and call-in complaints procedure which are followed and, if necessary, we would actively co-operate with police enquiries.

Why do you contribute some of my fee to charity?

Our philosophy is that we should contribute to the world we live in. We are proud to support the organisations and causes we have selected.

Why must I renew?

To keep our listings fresh and updated. Websites with out of date and ‘expired’ information are of little use to users. We are committed to providing the most accurate, up to date information possible. The only way to do this is to enforce a ‘renewing’ process that is as painless for our users as possible. This is the system we have developed. Experience has shown us that leaving this process to occur on a voluntary basis does not work.

What is a free listing?

A free listing is property information outside the paid subscription areas (see paid subscription areas) < this needs to be a link showing where the paid areas are>. , about which you can receive contact details without having to pay and become a paid member. Also, it is required by law that any property that is a sole let (for example, you are letting a sole accommodation property) that the contact details be free and accessible by anyone.

What does the referencing service entail?

We offer a professional and comprehensive referencing service that processes up to 12 checks on any prospective tenant. At the end of the service you will receive a written report and a recommendation of whether the person in question is deemed suitable. Contact the office for more information and the current charge for this service.

Can I complain to Outlet about home seekers?

We do not act as a 3rd party arbitration service but do welcome communication about matters we can impact on. Discrepancies in the information provided on our site with the property concerned, illegal activity and serious breaches of reasonable behaviour should be reported to us. Where we deem it appropriate we will act on the matter in hand and this could involve co-operating with the police.

Use of personal information

Will I receive spam?

Absolutely not. We have always prided ourselves on the protection of your information. We have always resisted commercial pressures to expose our database to spam and continue to uphold that rule. We do, however, send out emails to you with information on matching listings, when you have received a communication about a property, about your membership, and general promotions. We try to keep these to a minimum.

Will I be contacted by Tenants?

YES! But only in the ways you have given permission for on your profile. Also, you can be pro-active and contact them in the same way they contact you – so if the property is not moving as fast as you would like you can log in and search them out!

Where will the details of my profile appear?

They will be shown to all people searching on the site, so make sure those photos are good, and that you have entered your information carefully! If you have not given permission for contact information to be published (and/or they are not a subscribed member) then users will not be able to communicate with you. Remember – tenants like a good landlord, so if you appear friendly and open they are more likely to contact you!

Are my details confidential?

The information you provide is securely stored and only released to the people you are ‘matched’ to and when you have given permission to release contact details. Throughout the process you are asked ‘permission’ questions relating to the use and publication of your data to ensure you feel happy and confident about how it may be used.

What happens to my information once I have found a tenant?

We safely archive your information for use in the future. This can save you the job of re-entering your details every time you want to find accommodation. You can chose to deactivate your profile and listings if you feel you might need to advertise a property again in the future or if you do not wish us to do this you are able to delete your file whenever you want.

Getting the best results

What is the User Profile?

The user profile has various features, but is where everything from your contact details through to areas you are searching in is held. This information, once entered can be used as a search feature as well!

What information is required?

Only basic details are required, though we suggest you add more than the basics to take advantage of the advance search system, and to make you more attractive to the tenants! We do require an email address and password, and for you to set a location you are advertising in.

Why should I fill out the profile details?

Some profile details are essential (see information required), some are for making your searches more closely matched, and some are for advanced searches. Only required information is essential, but in order to make your life easier, get more matches, and move that property faster we do recommend you fill in as much as possible, with as much detail as possible.

Profile settings and options

Basic: This section holds all your personal information such as your personal details, contact details and user email / password to access the site. It also includes features such as the areas you are looking in, a social networking feed (For example – add your Twitter details and post to Twitter that you have a property to rent out!).

Interests: This section is where you fill out your profile. In our experience, the more information you show here, the more likely a tenant will contact you, or reply to your contacting them. People like to know about other people, and tenants are no different – if they feel that you are the type of person they want to live with in your property, or to rent from you the more likely you are to get the property or room rented.

Interests (the Advanced Search): This is also where our advanced search system comes into place: once you have filled out this information you can click on the filled out information to find tenants, and flat seekers and potential flat sharers similar profiles. For example, if you are interested in football, and you add this into your interests section, you will be able to search out others interested in football! Only want people with a good job living in your property? You can search for this!

Should I add a photo? This is very important to all our users. Photos illustrate far more effectively and accurately than a written description. They are trusted more, and can fully represent what words cannot describe.

Credit Card information: This is where your credit card information is held. We hold this information only if you request it (to save time when renewing your payment details). This information is not distributed, used without your permission and is totally secure.

Payment history: This is very important to show you all your past and current transactions. You can also view / download your invoices for your records.

What is the ‘Flats/ Flat shares Offered’ feature?

This is where you advertise that you have a flat, flat share or property you want to rent out. You place the ad with all appropriate details (remember: the more information you add the better the matching will be!), and then can hit the ‘Find your perfect tenant or flatmate’ button and our system will do all the hard work and match the tenant listings to your ad! It’s also great because it not only allows you to seek out potential tenants with our amazing matching system, but other users can find you and contact you about your property. If you advertise your property enticingly you might even get people wanting to move in even if it is not their original chosen area.

What information is required?

Only basic details are required, though we suggest you add more than the basics to take advantage of the advance search system, and to make you more attractive to the tenants and other flat sharers out there! We do require the basics, like what rent you expect, the location of the property and a couple of other basic details like privacy settings for your contact details.

Why should I create a ‘Flats/ Flat shares Offered’ ad?

To put is simply – without it you cannot advertise your property! The more details you add here the easier finding a tenant becomes. You have 2 options when creating this ad: as a shared flat share, with existing flatmates (including/excluding yourself) or a flat (not shared)

‘Flat shares Offered’ (shared) details:

Location: This is where your property is.

About the property: This section holds all your basic requirements like if the property is shared or not shared, number of rooms available, distance to public transport etc.

Available amenities: This section is what is available at the property, such as a garden and handicapped access. Just remember some amenities can be added by the tenant, like internet and cable as long as it is negotiated between you, and does not cause damage to the property

Headline / description: This is where you really sell your property to the tenant! This is where you can add details like ‘lovely, newly refurbished flat, huge double room on offer, with amazing views, or ‘ South facing terrace with a small garden, perfect for BBQ’s, and sunny afternoons outside.’

I am: This lets the potential tenant know who you are: a flatmate, the landlord, or an agent representing the property.

About your current flatmates: Where you say a little about who you are - the fun and but the important answers like: Do you have kids or pets in the house? are the current tenants smokers? What are the current flatmates like – do the party or are they quiet? Do the work from home or out at an office? Be truthful, but be positive as well!

About prospective flatmates: This is where you describe who you would like to live in the property. This is all the important things like peoples work schedules and if you will consider a couple living in the property all the way through to your likes and dislikes. Remember, be realistic about what you want in the house, but be prepared to negotiate a bit. After all – variety is the spice of life! However, if you really don’t like animals, then you need to be firm on this.

Contact options: This is where you decide how you want to be contact by prospective tenants or flat sharers. Its totally up to you – we have the options of internal messaging on the site, external email, mobile or landline calls, if you want other agencies to contact you etc.

Step 2 - adding pictures: This is a competitive market so make those pictures perfect! Make sure its tidy and tastefully decorated, and that you capture the best aspects of the room, while being realistic. Do try to have the furniture organized in a logical way, but be honest – if there’s an Argos wardrobe in the room it’s important to let the potential flatmate know ahead of the viewing so they don’t come with unrealistic expectations. This is very important to all our users. Photos illustrate far more effectively and accurately than a written description. They are trusted more, and can fully represent what words cannot describe.

‘Flats Offered’ ( not shared) details:

Location: This is where your property is.

About the property: This section holds all your basic requirements like if the property is shared or not shared, number of rooms available, distance to public transport etc.

Available amenities: This section is what is available at the property, such as a garden and handicapped access. Just remember some amenities can be added by the tenant, like internet and cable as long as it is negotiated between you, and does not cause damage to the property

Headline / description: This is where you really sell your property to the tenant! This is where you can add details like ‘lovely, newly refurbished flat, huge double room on offer, with amazing views, or ‘ South facing terrace with a small garden, perfect for BBQ’s, and sunny afternoons outside.’

Rent etc: This tells the potential tenant the rent asked for the property, what bills are included / not included, when it is available form etc.

Preferred tenant: This is where you specify who you would like to live in the property. You need to be realistic, but if you just had the hardwood floors redone and really don’t want pets – then you have to be firm on this!

Contact options: This is where you decide how you want to be contact by prospective tenants or flat sharers. Its totally up to you – we have the options of internal messaging on the site, external email, mobile or landline calls, if you want other agencies to contact you etc.

Step 2 - adding pictures: This is a competitive market so make those pictures perfect! Make sure its tidy and tastefully decorated, and that you capture the best aspects of the room, while being realistic. Do try to have the furniture organized in a logical way, but be honest – if there’s an Argos wardrobe in the room it’s important to let the potential flatmate know ahead of the viewing so they don’t come with unrealistic expectations. This is very important to all our users. Photos illustrate far more effectively and accurately than a written description. They are trusted more, and can fully represent what words cannot describe.

Should I contact home seekers?

If you want to. They have already given permission to be contacted by whatever means you see published. Traditionally they will get in contact with you if they are interested in your property, but many landlords are using their home seeker lists as an effective tool to be pro active. If you are in a rush to let or are finding the response slow and taking time you may do this to speed things up.

How can I increase matches?

By widening your home seeker criteria and lowering your rent

Will home seekers contact me?

Yes. This is the way the service is designed to work. Home seekers matched to your requirements will see your advert on the site and via email. If they are interested they will contact you by whichever way you have indicated on your advert.

How do I market my property?

Outlet markets your property for you through its website. Additionally we employ numerous other strategies to expose your advert to the widest possible audience. We have created a unique URL, for you to use, if you also wish to proactively promote your accommodation.

Why is my property on other sites?

We do undertake activity with other sites to promote properties on our service. We are committed to achieving the best possible result for you and this external marketing can make all the difference

Why haven’t I received more calls?

We cannot take responsibility for the number of calls and email interest you receive. Our job is to effectively advertise your property to as many appropriate people as possible. Sometimes you can illicit more response by adding photos, more detailed descriptions or ultimately by reducing your rent. We can help you maximise your response and our advisors are always happy to take a look at your file and make suggested alterations.

How much should I write in my description?

Write what is required – you are not limited to the number of words you use. Put yourself in the shoes of somebody looking for accommodation and edit your description to pull out the key elements.

Practicalities

How can I guarantee people keep appointments?

If we knew the answer to that we’d all be rich! There are some common sense options to reduce the risk of wasting time on people who break or abandon appointments. Always insist on getting confirmation on the day of an appointment that it still stands. If you feel there is any reluctance from the other party to commit to an appointment ask them to contact you when they are happy to do so.

How much do I ask for a deposit?

Traditionally a month's rent as deposit has been required. Some people ask for 6 weeks' rent as deposit and others negotiate a smaller amount. The final decision is up to you. Deposits are taken to safeguard the value of the internal furnishings and upkeep of the property and guard against the risk of tenants leaving without adequate or agreed notice. The risk assessment has to be that of the landlord. There are no hard and fast rules.

What do I do with difficult tenants?

Conversation, negotiation and compromise are always preferable to confrontation and conflict. A good idea is to involve a calm and unbiased 3rd party who will help the conversation to avoid becoming inflamed or out of control.

How is inappropriate behaviour dealt with?

Directly. Use straightforward communication with the person / people involved and express your view of the situation. Ask them agree to another way of behaving. If they refuse the ultimate sanction would be to ask them to vacate the accommodation within the agreed period of notice.

FAQ’s – Home seekers

Cost and membership

Using the system

Why do some properties appear on my lists with criteria I did not ask for?

We have designed a system that takes key criteria and matches them absolutely and excludes any that fall outside of them. There are other ‘fuzzy’ matching criteria that will reduce the matching % of the property but not exclude them from appearing on your list. The matching system shows you the percentage to which you match, and the lower the match, the lower it will appear in the listings.

What is the matching system?

Once you have created your ‘Offered’ or ‘Wanted’ property listing the system takes those requirement and shows you an overall match percentage (top right hand corner of each listing), and also a breakdown of how the overall matching percentage was arrived at ( bottom of the listing)

There are 3 main criteria we use to come up with your matches:

Compatibility: This looks at personal information as entered by you and matches it to the listing. For example this matches information such as: You a smoker that wants to live with other smokers? You want someone in the age range of 25-35? Do you mind if you live with other males or females?

Amenities Match: This reviews your amenity requirements as entered and tells you how close your requirements are to what the property has. Be aware that this includes features such as Internet connections etc, which can be added by you when you move in!

Rent Match: This looks at your rent range as entered and tells you how close to your requirement the listing is. This can either mean it is above or below your rent expectations so it’s still worth looking at the property!

How can I increase Matches?

By widening your housing criteria and increasing the amount of rent you can pay

How does the system work out the % of the match?

That question is like asking for a secret recipe. We have devised a unique way of gathering information and, using our experience, we grade a property's suitability for your requirements. Beyond that we’re not saying!

Searching for Properties:

We have 4 different types of search. This is designed with some overlap, so you can use the search of your choice, with as much or as little detail as you chose: our Matching system, advanced search, Basic Search, and Browse by distance.

Matching system: This is based on your ‘Wanted’ ad you create after creating a profile. It is the best and strongest option is it displays to other users what you want, when, with what amenities and much more. (See information above)

The Advanced Search: Once you have filled out your personal information such as rent, location and other personal details on your profile this system works in two ways: thorough our ‘Browse by distance’ search ,and through your other personal details such as interests, activities and jobs etc.

Search: This search engine, accessed from the home page, or through the links on the top left of the page will allow you to do a basic search based on basic requirements such as location, amenities required and rent range. These listings will be shown to you based on the distance from your chosen location

Browse by distance: This search is based on the location your have entered in your profile, and will show you listings based on the distance from your chosen location.

Can I get assistance over the phone?

Yes. We are one of the few internet services that continue to provide telephone support and registration. Our staff has comprehensive training and experience in supporting users and are happy to help. (0207 287 4244)

Why is there less accommodation outside Metropolitan areas?

Metropolitan areas will always attract more accommodation. The larger the population of a city the more property ‘stock’ it has.

Do you vet your members?

Our members are not ‘vetted’. It is virtually impossible for this to take place unless you work with an institution such as the police. However, our registration process is comprehensive and filters out ‘undesirables.’ In addition the fees we charge often act as a bar to those not seriously requiring our services. We also have a report abuse button on each listing so if there is something not right about the tenant ad, and it is reported we can review the listing to ensure it is not fraud or invalid. We also have a website, email and call-in complaints procedure which are followed and, if necessary, we would actively co-operate with police enquiries.

Why do you contribute some of my fee to charity?

Our philosophy is that we should contribute to the world we live in. We are proud to support the organisations and causes we have selected.

What is a free listing?

A free listing is property information outside the paid subscription areas (see paid subscription areas) about which you can receive contact details without having to pay and become a paid member. Also, it is required by law that any property that is a sole let (for example, you are letting a sole accommodation property) that the contact details be free and accessible by anyone.

Can I complain to Outlet about home seekers?

We do not act as a 3rd party arbitration service but do welcome communication about matters we can impact on. Discrepancies in the information provided on our site with the property concerned, illegal activity and serious breaches of reasonable behaviour should be reported to us. Where we deem it appropriate we will act on the matter in hand and this could involve co-operating with the police.

Use of personal information

Will I be contacted by Landlords?

Only if you have given permission on your profile. Traditionally landlords will wait for you to call them, but sometimes they choose to be pro-active, calling and sending emails to home seekers matched to their property.

Where will the details of my profile appear?

They will be shown to all people searching on the site, so make sure those photos are good, and that you have entered your information carefully! If you have not given permission for contact information to be published (and/or they are not a subscribed member) then users will not be able to communicate with you.

Will I receive spam?

Absolutely not. We have always prided ourselves on the protection of your information. We have always resisted commercial pressures to expose our database to spam and continue to uphold that rule. We do, however, send out emails to you with information on matching listings, when you have received a communication about a property, about your membership, and general promotions. We try to keep these to a minimum.

Are my details confidential?

The information you provide is securely stored and only released to the people you are ‘matched’ to and when you have given permission to release contact details. Throughout the process you are asked ‘permission’ questions relating to the use and publication of your data to ensure you feel happy and confident about how it may be used.

What happens to my information once I have found a property?

We safely archive your information for use in the future. This can save you the job of re-entering your details every time you want to find accommodation. You can chose to deactivate your profile and listings if you feel you might need to search again in the future or if you do not wish us to do this you are able to delete your file whenever you want.

Getting the best results

What is the User Profile?

The user profile has various features, but is where everything from your contact details through to areas you are searching in is held. This information, once entered can be used as a search feature as well!

What information is required?

Only basic details are required, though we suggest you add more than the basics to take advantage of the advance search system, and to make you more attractive to the landlords! We do require an email address and password, and for you to set a location you are looking in.

Why should I fill out the profile details?

Some profile details are essential (see information required), some are for making your searches more closely matched, and some are for advanced searches. Only required information is essential, but in order to make your life easier, get more matches, and move faster we do recommend you fill in as much as possible, with as much detail as possible.

Profile settings and options

Basic: This section holds all your personal information such as your personal details, contact details and user email / password to access the site. It also includes features such as the areas you are looking in, a social networking feed (For example – add your Twitter details and post to Twitter that you have a property to rent out!).

Interests: This section is where you fill out your profile. In our experience, the more information you show here, the more likely a tenant will contact you, or reply to your contacting them. People like to know about other people, and tenants are no different – if they feel that you are the type of person they want to live with in your property, or to rent from you the more likely you are to get the property or room rented.

Interests (the Advanced Search): This is also where our advanced search system comes into place: once you have filled out this information you can click on the filled out information to find tenants, and flat seekers and potential flat sharers similar profiles. For example, if you are interested in football, and you add this into your interests section, you will be able to search out others interested in football! Only want people with a good job living in your property? You can search for this!

Should I add a photo? This is very important to all our users. Photos illustrate far more effectively and accurately than a written description. They are trusted more, and can fully represent what words cannot describe.

Credit Card information: This is where your credit card information is held. We hold this information only if you request it (to save time when renewing your payment details). This information is not distributed, used without your permission and is totally secure.

Payment history: This is very important to show you all your past and current transactions. You can also view / download your invoices for your records.

What is the ‘Flats/ Flat shares wanted’ feature?

This is where you advertise that you are looking for a new flat, flat share or home. You place the ad with all appropriate details (remember: the more information you add the better the matching will be!), and then can hit the ‘Find your perfect flat or flat share’ button and our system will do all the hard work and match the property listings to your ad! Its also great because it not only allows you to seek out a flat or flat share with our amazing matching system, but other users can find you and suggest looking together ( if you are looking for a flat share), or landlords can identify you and contact you suggesting that their property is right for you.

What information is required?

Only basic details are required, though we suggest you add more than the basics to take advantage of the advance search system, and to make you more attractive to the landlords and other flat sharers out there! We do require the basics, like what rent you can afford, the locations you are looking in a couple of other basic details like privacy settings for your contact details.

Why should I create a ‘Flats/ Flat shares wanted’ ad?

To put is simply – it makes your life easier, and allows you to find a home faster! This feature is fantastic because it not only allows you to seek out a flat or flat share with our amazing matching system, but other users can find you and suggest looking together ( if you are looking for a flat share), or landlords can identify you and contact you suggesting that their property is right for you.

‘Flats/ Flat shares wanted’ details:

Location: This is where you are looking for a place to live. You can set one area or several and also dictate how far around the area you would be willing to consider for a living location.

What are you looking for: This section holds all your basic requirements like the rent you can afford or want to pay, when you want to move, and if you are looking for a flat, or shared accommodation

Who you would like to share with: This section is all the information on what you are ok with: smokers, pets, kids, party habits, gender, orientation etc.

Headline / description: This is where you can fill in all your wants, desires and dreams for your new home or room! You like a bright room? Want a double bed? Don’t want to live next to a busy street? All this you can add here.

Required amenities: This is very important to our matching system. If you don’t do this section your matching will not be as accurate. You can adjust the sliders from not required all the way through to essential, and this will be used by our matching system to match you to the right properties. It will also been seen by other users to judge if they have the right amenities for you. Of course, you can always negotiate things like internet access and having a cleaner, but it does give people an idea of your expectations.

About yourself: Where you say a little about whom your are – not the fun bits, but the important ones like: are you a smoker? Do you have kids or pets? Do you have references?

More about yourself: The fun bits! Tell them a little fun, but personal info about you! Love gardening? Are you extroverted? Like a quiet or busy household? Have people come stay often? Basically – this is where people look to see if you are similar to them in personal habits.

Contact options: this is where you decide how you want to be contact by other users and landlords. Its totally up to you – we have the options of internal messaging on the site, external email, mobile or landline calls, if you want other agencies to contact you etc.

Practicalities

How can I guarantee people keep appointments?

If we knew the answer to that we’d all be rich! There are some common sense options to reduce the risk of wasting time on people who break or abandon appointments. Always insist on getting confirmation on the day of an appointment that it still stands. If you feel there is any reluctance from the other party to commit to an appointment ask them to contact you when they are happy to do so.

Should I take cash to viewings?

Securing desirable accommodation can be difficult as the demand may be high. Ultimately offering cash to secure your claim to a property is usually the only way to ensure this. However be careful. Money should only be handed over if you are offered some form of official documentation confirming amounts etc. NEVER hand over monies without signed and witnessed documentation or if you feel uncomfortable about the situation.

How do I ensure my personal safety?

Always view properties with a friend. This will give you another perspective and reduce the risk of anything untoward occurring. You should also tell people where you are going with address details and ask for the name and telephone number of the person dealing with the accommodation.

Are rents negotiable?

Discussions about the level of rent being asked are always possible. Whether a landlord will negotiate is another matter. It will depend on many factors and you will need to make the judgement as to whether that is a route you wish to take. You may want to assess the market and compare the rent to that of similar properties in the area before raising the issue.