What do I need to rent a property in the UK?

By Luke Aldred

​In order to rent a property in the UK, you will need a selection of documents to prove your identity, employment status and that you can afford to pay your rent each month.

Proof of identity

UK law states that, to rent a property, you must be 18 years old. Proof of identity and your current address is required and must be verified before discussions take place with the landlord or agency. The documents can include:

  • Photo ID (e.g. passport or driving license)

  • Utilities or tax bill dated within the last three months

  • Electoral Register entry

As an international worker, a copy of your UK visa and the associated documents allowing you to rent in the UK will also be required.

Proof of employment

If you’re in full-time employment and can show that work is stable, proving you can afford to pay your rent will be straightforward. However, the process for freelancers or those who work part-time can be harder in showing landlords and agents you can make the monthly payments. It’s at their discretion, but some will want to see that you earn 2-3 times the amount of your rent, unless you can provide a guarantor, someone who agrees to make the payments if you cannot.

The documents needed to prove you’re employed and your earnings are as follows:

  • Pay slips for the last 3-6 months

  • A letter from your employer confirming your job title, salary and contract length

  • A current employment contract


Your future landlord or estate agent will ask to see references confirming your identity, employment status and character. These will mostly be sent in writing, however sometimes references are followed up by phone call and/or email. These could be provided by:

  • A previous landlord

  • An employer

  • A friend or colleague, confirming your character

Many agencies now use a dedicated company to check potential tenants’ references, which will cost approx. £200 per tenant; a cost you will be charged for before you start the renting process.

Remember, if you are renting in London, there are a few things you should be aware of before signing anything.

For more information on moving to the UK, read our collection of blogs.