The rental market moves at a very fast pace, with the best properties often being taken very quickly.
If you are renting with a group ensure you are all in a position to make a decision promptly. To secure the property there will often be reference checks, credit checks, a tenancy agreement, and a deposit payment.
Some things to note:
- When exchanging money with landlords and estate agents it is usually beneficial to get a receipt or proof of payment.
- International students and staff may have some difficulty with references, guarantors and credit checks. Printing out bank statements, and using a Crick sponsorship letter can help to reassure landlords.
- It is important to note that all documents used must be dated within the last three months. It can be useful to have easy access to past payslips, copies of bank statements, reference letters and utility bills.
In the UK prospective tenants have their identities checked. Note that Landlords and Lettings Agents cannot charge administration fees for processing documents or carrying out checks.
Additionally, the Crick will provide a headed letter confirming employment or study to further reassure landlords if requested
- Identification Documents: Proof of identity is often the first document required when making an offer on a property. For non-UK nationals, proof of immigration status will also be required.
- References: Reference checks are carried out on prospective tenants to confirm that they have rented without any major issues in the past, and are currently employed or studying.
- Credit Checks: In some cases, credit checks are carried out to ensure that tenants can afford the monthly rent and have no problematic credit history.
- Proof of Income: Proof of Income can come in the form of three months of payslips or an employment contract. For students in our PhD programme, a status letter confirming their stipend can be requested from the Academic Training team.
Guarantors will often be needed if you are an international student or are moving to the UK from overseas. Guarantors agree to pay rent if a tenant fails to pay and is often required to demonstrate an income several times more than the monthly rent of the property. Guarantors are typically required to be UK-based, home owners and can be relatives or friends. Some universities will offer to be guarantors for international students, so if you are a student, contact your accommodation advice team for information on this.
Once these references have been checked there will be a tenancy agreement to sign. When signing any contract, it is important to read it thoroughly before signing, and keep a copy.
A tenancy agreement provides detailed information about the rights and responsibilities of the tenant and the landlord.