Renting for the first time, or moving from one rental property to another, can be exciting and daunting all at the same time.
Of course you need to start with some of the basics, like where location wise you want to live, whether you’d like a furnished or unfurnished property and how many bedrooms you need, but once you’ve done that you can start your search for the perfect flat/apartment or house at a price that you can afford.
That’s the exciting bit. The daunting bit is where to start with everything from documents to deposits and what you should expect from the landlord.
In part one of our ‘What to check before renting a flat’ series, we take a look at what documents you need to get you started on the journey to moving in day.
What documents do you need?
· ID – you will need to provide us with two forms of ID (see Right to Rent below)
· References – we will essentially ask you for three types of reference:
1. A reference from a previous landlord or agent
2. A reference from your bank (known as a status enquiry) or a credit check
3. Depending on whether you are employed, self-employed or a student, a reference from your current / previous employer, two years’ accounts (or a reference from an accountant) or a letter from your college or university as proof of study
· Right to Rent – Introduced in 2016, the Right to Rent scheme in England means that all landlords have to check that all tenants who rent their properties have legal status to live in the UK. We therefore must undertake passport and immigration checks prior to letting a property to you and to do this we must check an original item of identification from a list of acceptable identification documents (which incidentally can double up as your ID). The best place to check the list of acceptable documents is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/right-to-rent-document-checks-a-user-guide
What if I can’t provide ID / acceptable documents?
Unfortunately, we simply won’t be able to progress with your letting.
Just as you expect the landlord to be who they say they are, have the legal right to let the property to you and ensure the property is safe and secure, landlords expect to be assured that their tenants are who they say they are, have a legal right to rent in the UK and, if necessary, have a guarantor who can support all of that.
What if I can’t provide references?
If you have never rented previously, aren’t in employment / self-employment or you are a student, a guarantor can provide the necessary references for you, as well as guaranteeing that they will pay the rent if you don’t.
Almost anybody can be a guarantor for you, and people usually go for a close family member / friend, but ultimately a guarantor should be somebody you trust.
If you need further help and guidance regarding documents that you need to rent, please contact one of our branches and a member of our friendly team will be happy to help you.