Renting apartments can be expensive. Townhouses are often a much cheaper option.
You can often find apartments and villas or condos to rent in Spain as well as villas in Costa Brava - but don't worry even if you fancy somewhere further abroad than London, there are townhouses available as homes for lease in these regions too. First think about money for your deposit and the rent.
Some landlords want first and last month's rent, and some want first month's as well as a security deposit.
Work out exactly how much you can afford before you start looking at places.
Check your credit rating.
If your credit is poor, you might not be able to rent that townhouse you have your eye on.
Check your MySpace and Facebook to make sure that you haven't got any inappropriate photos, videos or messages that someone could use against you. Landlords are smart and they check these sites to find out what kind of person you are.
They won't rent to someone on drugs or who has mad parties.
Check yours before you hand in your applications.
Call your local estate agents and ask if they have any townhouses available to rent. Most landlords will use estate agencies to find their tenants.
The estate agent will then set up all the showings with the landlords for you.
Read the housing section of your local paper to find townhouses that are advertised for rent.
Call the advertiser to make appointments to see them.
Ask the landlord questions at the showing.
Find out exactly how much the rent is and if any of the utilities are included in that price.
Ask about other things like pets and smoking too.
Even if you think a question is obvious, ask it now. You could lose your deposit by making this silly mistake.
Fill out the application and list your references.
The landlord will call these references to find out whether you have a history of paying your bills and what condition you have left previous properties in.
Review your lease with the estate agent and make sure you are completely satisfied with everything before you are tied into an agreement.
When you're happy, sign the lease and give it to the landlord, along with any fees due.
Make sure you pay by check so that you have proof of payment - if this isn't possible, ensure that you have a witness to your payment.
Always make sure that you get a receipt.