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How to rent from a private landlord or letting agent

What to ask before you rent

    Ask the landlord or letting agent:

  • how much the rent is and how often is it paid
  • the amount needed for a tenancy deposit
  • what fees and charges are made (including fees if your tenancy is renewed)
  • if you’ll get a refund of fees if you change your mind or if the landlord decides not to rent to you
  • to show you the tenancy agreement you’ll be asked to sign

View the property

Make sure that you view the property you want to rent before you pay a deposit or rent in advance.

Watch out for scams where you are asked to pay a deposit on a property that either doesn’t exist or has already been rented out.

Letting agent fees

If you find a home through a letting agent, you will usually have to pay letting agency fees.

The letting agents must clearly set out details of their fees on their websites and in their offices.

You shouldn’t be asked to pay for registering your details or for being given details of the properties they have available.

Documents to show 

Landlords or letting agents expect you to prove your identity, show that you are reliable and that you can afford the rent.

They may ask for documents such as:

  • recent bank statements
  • your pay slips or your accounts if you work for yourself
  • proof of benefit awards
  • your employment contract

Landlords and letting agents will also ask you to prove you have the right to stay in the UK. You’ll be asked to provide your passport or other documents as part of right to rent immigration checks.

Landlords can also ask for references from an employer or previous landlord.

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