The Association of Residential Letting Agents has published the results of a survey that should make good reading for anyone in the buy to let business. The survey covers the first quarter of 2012 and 56% of ARLA members' offices reported that there were more people looking for tenancies than there were properties available.

The results show that there are variations across the country; with some areas experiencing what ARLA call an "unprecedented demand". Our landlord insurance clients will no doubt be delighted to read that. ARLA has drawn on its survey to produce a guide for would be tenants to help them secure the property they want in a competitive market place. The top tips are:

Work out your priorities
Before going on any viewings the applicants need to agree on the priorities; in other words what are the absolute deal breakers.

Second opinion
Take someone along with you to act as a second pair of eyes. His or her opinion may be useful.

be prepared to make a prompt decision
Do not be pressurised but take account of the fact that the best properties are likely to be the first to be let so you need to take a swift and informed decision.

Do your research
Check out the area to make sure you will like it and to get a feel of likely rents

Prepare your paperwork
Avoid delays by having all your documents to hand and having your deposit available.