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10 tools to make your rental search easier and faster

Searching for a home to rent? Here are a few useful tools to save you time, beat the crowd and land a great rental home.

Words by: Ellie Isaac

Senior Editor

Searching for a rental can be stressful. The market's busier than ever, so you need to be quick and super organised.

But there are tools that can make it easier to find a home you love, and go on to secure it.

Here's our round up of the time-saving tools that can help you find the perfect rental home.

1. Register to keep everything in one place

Register with My Zoopla and we'll keep track of your search for you.

We'll log your Recent Searches so you can go back and browse at the click of a button.

Hit the heart button and rentals you love will stay in your Saved Properties.

Add notes to properties too, so you can log what time your viewing is, questions to ask the estate agent or what your partner thinks of it.

And if you want to share that dream pad with friends and family, just hit the share button.

2. Set up email alerts to be the first to know about new rentals

Get ahead of the crowd and be the first to know when a new rental comes on the market.

Log in to set up email alerts and we'll let you know second a property comes up that meets your criteria.

3. Get ahead with our app

Speed is the name of the game when you're looking for a rental.

Download the Zoopla app and make it easier to search on the move.

You'll get instant info on potential homes and you can access all your saved properties, recent searches and notes.

4. Get specific with our search filters

None of us have time to trudge around rental homes that don’t quite fit the bill.

Get specific and save time with our search tools.

You can add your must-haves and keywords, whether you want a garden, a parking space or even just a bath.

Or, if you want to rule any features out, exclude it with a minus sign like '-basement'.

Looking for a new rental home?

Search for a new rental home by location, price, number of bedrooms and more.

5. Keep up with the rental market

Keep up with the market and your local area. It'll make it easier to know what you should be paying for your home and that you're not paying over the odds.

And it's particularly helpful if you're new to the area and trying to work out which areas match your budget.

The latest renting news

6. Map out the exact area you want to live in

Whether you want to stay in your favourite area or try somewhere new, cut the noise by drawing your own map search.

This tool is your new best friend if location's important to you.

You can select the exact zone you fancy living in, or combine a couple of streets or areas you're looking at.

You might want to be five minutes' walk to a train station, within a school catchment area, or close to the gym.

Add all the amenities you want to be close to and we'll only show you homes that meet the criteria.

And if you want to get seriously specific, just click 'Draw from scratch’ and mark out your dream locations.

Draw a map to pinpoint your search area.

7. Work out travel times from homes you like

Want to shorten your commute?

Or be walking distance to the local school?

Maybe you want to be able to get to the gym, the local pub or your parents' house within 20 minutes.

Search by travel time to find rental homes close to the places that matter.

You can set your mode of travel, whether it's bus, train, walking, cycling or driving. And refine by price, bedrooms and furniture to make sure you only see what's relevant.

8. Find out what the home will cost to run

When you’re pricing up a new move, you need to factor in more than the rental rate.

All the other running costs like your gas and electricity could push a home out of your budget.

When you find a home for rent, head to the running costs section for an estimated monthly cost.

It'll help you work out what you can afford, or how you'd split the bills with your housemates.

9. Snoop on a rented flat's price history 

Ever wonder how much a rental rate's increased since it was last leased?

Check out the property history on a listing and you'll see previous rental prices.

You can find out if it's risen, dropped or stayed the same since the last time. You can even see if the rate's changed since it's been listed for rent.

10. Find local lettings agents all in one place

Want to move to a particular area or postcode? Reach out to local lettings agents to get ahead of the pack.

Find all the letting agents in your search area

It's always worth having a chat with a few letting agents in your search area. They'll know the market, and be able to advise what you can get for your budget.

They might even have listings that aren't online yet that they could tell you about. This is super helpful when competition is fierce.

We try to make sure that the information here is accurate at the time of publishing. But the property market moves fast and some information may now be out of date. Zoopla Property Group accepts no responsibility or liability for any decisions you make based on the information provided.