Renting housing in the UK

Old Jul 4th 2021, 12:01 am
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Default Renting housing in the UK

So, first off I know practically nothing. Well, I know some things but not about renting housing in the UK which I am hoping that we will be doing at some point in 2022 as part of moving to the UK.

We've been gone a very long time. Both UK citizens, so no trouble on that score, but no credit rating in the UK or anything of that sort. We do have NI numbers and passports, but that's about it.

I think we will need to rent somewhere before moving, so as to have somewhere to send the furniture, assuming I will be able to travel freely by then and get that done.

I will be employed, but possibly as an independent contractor, and most likely for the major national charity I am currently on contract with. At least that's my hope since it's certainly the easiest option.

Many questions come to mind.

UK bank account - assume I can't get one until a UK resident, but also assuming I need a UK bank account to rent. How do people manage this?

I have read that a larger deposit may be required in the sense of paying several months up front, due to lack of credit history. If I pay x months up front, does that mean I don't pay again until x months are up, or does all that money sit there like a deposit to be returned only at the end of the tenancy?

How/when/where do I connect utilities?

Council tax - I understand I will pay that as the tenant. Where? How? When - annual? Monthly? Other?

If you get an unfurnished rental, does it come with the fridge, cooker, dishwasher, washing machine, etc? If not, do you just buy and install them yourself?

How difficult is it likely to be to find somewhere that will take a cat, if necessary? Can we just pay extra for the cat?

How much notice do you give at the end of a tenancy? Is there any sort of "right to renew" or can the landlord turf you out at the end of the lease at will?

Can you hang pictures on the walls, etc., or does that constitute "damage"? Does this sort of "wear and tear" just come out of the deposit?

Is it best to rent from agents or private landlords?

Anything else I've totally forgotten?

All help and advice much appreciated.


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Old Jul 4th 2021, 8:10 am
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Default Re: Renting housing in the UK

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
So, first off I know practically nothing. Well, I know some things but not about renting housing in the UK which I am hoping that we will be doing at some point in 2022 as part of moving to the UK.

We've been gone a very long time. Both UK citizens, so no trouble on that score, but no credit rating in the UK or anything of that sort. We do have NI numbers and passports, but that's about it.

I think we will need to rent somewhere before moving, so as to have somewhere to send the furniture, assuming I will be able to travel freely by then and get that done.

I will be employed, but possibly as an independent contractor, and most likely for the major national charity I am currently on contract with. At least that's my hope since it's certainly the easiest option.

Many questions come to mind.

UK bank account - assume I can't get one until a UK resident, but also assuming I need a UK bank account to rent. How do people manage this?

I have read that a larger deposit may be required in the sense of paying several months up front, due to lack of credit history. If I pay x months up front, does that mean I don't pay again until x months are up, or does all that money sit there like a deposit to be returned only at the end of the tenancy?

How/when/where do I connect utilities?

Council tax - I understand I will pay that as the tenant. Where? How? When - annual? Monthly? Other?

If you get an unfurnished rental, does it come with the fridge, cooker, dishwasher, washing machine, etc? If not, do you just buy and install them yourself?

How difficult is it likely to be to find somewhere that will take a cat, if necessary? Can we just pay extra for the cat?

How much notice do you give at the end of a tenancy? Is there any sort of "right to renew" or can the landlord turf you out at the end of the lease at will?

Can you hang pictures on the walls, etc., or does that constitute "damage"? Does this sort of "wear and tear" just come out of the deposit?

Is it best to rent from agents or private landlords?

Anything else I've totally forgotten?

All help and advice much appreciated.
have just got back a month ago with no credit rating and rented a house.
I wouldn't worry about the credit score aboit renting a house unless you have been proper blacklisted and had court injunctions against you.
there will be a minimum salary for renting the property.
you need proof of income for renting. either pay slips or a reference from your employer or you need a home owner to be a guarantor for you renting.
The tenancy will be a minimum of 6 months.
some properties come equipped with white goods some do not.
You pay council tax by direct debit every month or you can pay it as a one payment for the year. you will get a letter from the council or ring them up to arrange the payments to inform them you are living at the property.
If the property is for example £700 a month rent. you generally pay £700-800 deposit and 700 month rent in advance.
utilities you just ring companies and ask to connect you and pay all with direct debit every month. more than likely the house will already have gas and electric provider you just change it to your name.
Cats aren't to bad to rent a property with. sometimes they want a extra 100 or 200 deposit for the cat. but generally cats aren't to bad to rent a property with.
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Old Jul 4th 2021, 8:57 am
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Default Re: Renting housing in the UK

Having not been in the UK for some years, then it always helps to offer a bigger deposit, we paid 6 months, which was the deposit AND the first 6 months rental, so nothing to pay for the first 6 months. Utilities will be connected, and all you need to do is inform the providers that you have taken over. TAKE METER READINGS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AFTER TAKING OVER, you will have to find out where the water meter is if connected, and most will be. A 'smart' TV is a good idea, unless the rental already has SKY installed. On a personal note I use SKY as my internet and phone service but NOT the TV, just the smart TV with Freeview play.
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Old Jul 4th 2021, 9:31 am
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Default Re: Renting housing in the UK

As stated, the tenancy will be for a minimum of 6 months but it might be for a maximum of 6 months, at the discretion of the landlord.
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Old Jul 4th 2021, 2:35 pm
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Default Re: Renting housing in the UK

Originally Posted by jarv5116 View Post
have just got back a month ago with no credit rating and rented a house.
I wouldn't worry about the credit score aboit renting a house unless you have been proper blacklisted and had court injunctions against you.
there will be a minimum salary for renting the property.
you need proof of income for renting. either pay slips or a reference from your employer or you need a home owner to be a guarantor for you renting.
The tenancy will be a minimum of 6 months.
some properties come equipped with white goods some do not.
You pay council tax by direct debit every month or you can pay it as a one payment for the year. you will get a letter from the council or ring them up to arrange the payments to inform them you are living at the property.
If the property is for example £700 a month rent. you generally pay £700-800 deposit and 700 month rent in advance.
utilities you just ring companies and ask to connect you and pay all with direct debit every month. more than likely the house will already have gas and electric provider you just change it to your name.
Cats aren't to bad to rent a property with. sometimes they want a extra 100 or 200 deposit for the cat. but generally cats aren't to bad to rent a property with.
Originally Posted by mikelincs View Post
Having not been in the UK for some years, then it always helps to offer a bigger deposit, we paid 6 months, which was the deposit AND the first 6 months rental, so nothing to pay for the first 6 months. Utilities will be connected, and all you need to do is inform the providers that you have taken over. TAKE METER READINGS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AFTER TAKING OVER, you will have to find out where the water meter is if connected, and most will be. A 'smart' TV is a good idea, unless the rental already has SKY installed. On a personal note I use SKY as my internet and phone service but NOT the TV, just the smart TV with Freeview play.
Originally Posted by Expatrick View Post
As stated, the tenancy will be for a minimum of 6 months but it might be for a maximum of 6 months, at the discretion of the landlord.
Thanks to all for the help.

Any opinions on renting from an agent vs a private landlord?

Also, if you are renting for a year or two, can you put your own stuff up on the walls (ie make holes) or is this right out? I ask, because it will affect our storage needs.

Def no blacklisting or bad rep or anything of that sort. Just no rep at all.

I may be self employed, but could still provide payment statements and presumably get some sort of letter regarding the contract/commitment.

What about the bank account? Do I need the account set up in order to rent, or the rental address setvup in order to get the bank account? I do have a transferwise account that has a UK routing number, etc.
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Old Jul 5th 2021, 1:50 pm
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Default Re: Renting housing in the UK

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
Thanks to all for the help.

Any opinions on renting from an agent vs a private landlord?

Also, if you are renting for a year or two, can you put your own stuff up on the walls (ie make holes) or is this right out? I ask, because it will affect our storage needs.

Def no blacklisting or bad rep or anything of that sort. Just no rep at all.

I may be self employed, but could still provide payment statements and presumably get some sort of letter regarding the contract/commitment.

What about the bank account? Do I need the account set up in order to rent, or the rental address setvup in order to get the bank account? I do have a transferwise account that has a UK routing number, etc.
You will need proof of address to open a bank account. a utility bill or driving licence as proof.
doesn't matter how u pay aslong as the get there money on day it's due. the agents were willing to take cash payment but i paid with direct debit.

Yeah the agents that done my credit check emailed my company for salary and contract details.

You can do what you want within reason.
If you paint a room pink for example I'm guessing they would want it back to a netrual colour before leaving.
Holes in wall a bit filler n touch up is fine. So long as it's not a hole u can pit ur head through.

not much differnce in private or agents usually still has same contracts.
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Old Jul 5th 2021, 5:04 pm
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Default Re: Renting housing in the UK

My personal opinion is to use an agent all the time, preferably one with a reoputation to keep up. Private landlords 'can' be difficult to get hold of, and may just decide not to reply, an agency has a repustation, and, in fact, many landlords allow agencies to sort minor thiongs out. You should get an inventory when you move in, this should show hoe the property was when they put it up for rental, usually you are given two copies, one to keep and one to return, signed. ALWAYS check the inventory, htat's what the condition of the property will be chacked against when you leave, so you should make any comments on the condition on the inventory before you return it. You can make holes for things, just remember to fill before leaving, we had on inventory which stated the number of holes in each room that were on the walls. When you leave clean as you empty a room, we had one company, via the inventory people want to hold £25 back from the deposit for 'debris' in the kitchen, we hadn't moved far so it was a simple tast to go back, get et in to be shown what it was, a couple of split peas on the kitchen floor, so we removed them, the manager saw them removed and told the inventory people, and we got the full deposit back.
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Old Jul 5th 2021, 6:24 pm
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Default Re: Renting housing in the UK

Originally Posted by mikelincs View Post
My personal opinion is to use an agent all the time, preferably one with a reoputation to keep up. Private landlords 'can' be difficult to get hold of, and may just decide not to reply, an agency has a repustation, and, in fact, many landlords allow agencies to sort minor thiongs out. You should get an inventory when you move in, this should show hoe the property was when they put it up for rental, usually you are given two copies, one to keep and one to return, signed. ALWAYS check the inventory, htat's what the condition of the property will be chacked against when you leave, so you should make any comments on the condition on the inventory before you return it. You can make holes for things, just remember to fill before leaving, we had on inventory which stated the number of holes in each room that were on the walls. When you leave clean as you empty a room, we had one company, via the inventory people want to hold £25 back from the deposit for 'debris' in the kitchen, we hadn't moved far so it was a simple tast to go back, get et in to be shown what it was, a couple of split peas on the kitchen floor, so we removed them, the manager saw them removed and told the inventory people, and we got the full deposit back.

12.50 per pea seems a little extreme.

Are agents generally local or national? Given that we haven't yet pinpointed specific places, national would be nice but maybe that's too much to ask and we just need to get our act together and pick some places.

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Old Jul 5th 2021, 7:51 pm
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Default Re: Renting housing in the UK

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post

Are agents generally local or national? Given that we haven't yet pinpointed specific places, national would be nice but maybe that's too much to ask and we just need to get our act together and pick some places.
we rented in 2011 and again in 2016. In each case we went through local agents but found the places through Rightmove.com
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Old Jul 5th 2021, 8:29 pm
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Default Re: Renting housing in the UK

Originally Posted by durham_lad View Post
we rented in 2011 and again in 2016. In each case we went through local agents but found the places through Rightmove.com

Thanks. I've been addicted to RightMove for a bit now, so it makes sense to identify agents that way.

Organisey type person that I am, I was thinking of contacting some agents well in advance and cultivating the relationship a bit since we will be appearing in the UK sort of our of nowhere.

We def need to narrow down the list.
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Old Jul 5th 2021, 8:39 pm
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Default Re: Renting housing in the UK

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
12.50 per pea seems a little extreme.

Are agents generally local or national? Given that we haven't yet pinpointed specific places, national would be nice but maybe that's too much to ask and we just need to get our act together and pick some places.
A lot of the agents are, in fact, estate agents with a rental section.
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Old Jul 5th 2021, 8:41 pm
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Default Re: Renting housing in the UK

Originally Posted by mikelincs View Post
A lot of the agents are, in fact, estate agents with a rental section.
Both the agents we used worked at Real Estate companies.
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Old Jul 6th 2021, 1:50 am
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Default Re: Renting housing in the UK

Originally Posted by mikelincs View Post
A lot of the agents are, in fact, estate agents with a rental section.
Originally Posted by durham_lad View Post
Both the agents we used worked at Real Estate companies.


That would be no bad thing.


Must make some more lists.


Ideally, would like somewhere with the white goods in place but otherwise unfurnished.

And clean and in general good nick.
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Old Jul 6th 2021, 2:35 am
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Default Re: Renting housing in the UK

Not rented many places but the ones I did had all the necessary white goods in the kitchen i.e cooktop/oven, fridge/freezer, dishwasher. microwave. Cannot imagine having to buy a cooker/oven and getting it installed.
Nicer places also have washer/dryers.
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Old Jul 6th 2021, 4:10 am
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Default Re: Renting housing in the UK

Originally Posted by SanDiegogirl View Post
Not rented many places but the ones I did had all the necessary white goods in the kitchen i.e cooktop/oven, fridge/freezer, dishwasher. microwave. Cannot imagine having to buy a cooker/oven and getting it installed.
Nicer places also have washer/dryers.
Good to know, thank you.

Not exactly oozing money, but I hope we can run to a washer-worthy rental.

Front loader, of course...
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