For many first-time tenants, it can be difficult to know what is needed to secure a rental property.
After speaking with many of our customers, we’ve decided to answer some frequently asked questions on what financing and documentation is needed.
What documents do I need to secure a property?
In order to legally rent a property, there are several documents that are required in order to go through this process. These include:
- Proof of Identity: A valid passport/driving licence (UK residents only)
- Proof of employment/study: This will need to be an official (typically on official institution letterhead paper) letter confirming your place of employment/studies
- Proof of employment: For some agents, they require prospective tenants to be able to provide pay slips for their previous three months of employment as proof of ability to pay; this can also apply to students so always be sure to have it prepared in any case that it is requested
- Proof of funds: In addition to this, some agents may go as far as requesting bank statements in order to clarify that potential tenants have the ability to pay the rent
- Proof of address: More applicable to UK-based residents, agents may also request a proof of address. This will usually be in the form of an official letter dated within the last three months. This can be a tax/utilities bill.
What if I’m not employed, or don’t have a stable income?
There are two ways around this: you can provide a UK-based guarantor who will agree to pay the rent on your behalf in case you fall behind on payments, or you can pay 6 months of rent in advance as a guarantee to the landlord.
Do I need a UK bank account to secure a property?
No – for most agents, the ability to pay the deposits required from foreign accounts is totally acceptable. However, this may vary from agent to agent so be sure to ask about this early in the process
What deposits are required to secure a property?
Once you have agreed on a property with an agent, there are two types of deposits that are required, these are:
- Holding Deposit: This deposit is typically asked for once an agreement has been made but not confirmed in contract. It’s important to note that once this has been paid, you have agreed to rent the property and the agent has agreed to rent it to you. This will be worth 1 week’s rent.
- Security Deposit: Once paperwork has been signed off, agents/landlords will ask for a security deposit. This is to ensure that rent is paid whilst also acting as protection against damage to the property caused by the tenants. This will be worth 5 week’s rent.
Can a non-UK citizen be used as a guarantor?
As the UK continues to be a popular destination for international students and young professionals, the question of a guarantor being a non-UK citizen remains ever-relevant. Generally, due to the enforce-ability of having a guarantor, they need to be a UK citizen, which can range from being an extended family member to a friend. In the circumstances where a guarantor can’t be provided, agents/landlords will offset this by asking for six months’ rent upfront.