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Tenant's Guide To Renting

Tenant\'s Guide To Renting


This is a simple guide that covers the rental process. It will help you avoid any pitfalls, whilst hopefully answering any questions you may have

Before you start, decide on the following:

  • The area you want to live
  • Type of property you need.
  • Your budget
  • When you need the property
  • How long do you need the property for
  • Furnished or Unfurnished?
  • Are you renting with pets?

When choosing the agent you want to work with, ensure that they are part of a regulated body. Interlet is a member of the Property Ombudsman, the UK Association of Letting Agents, and operates a Client Money Protection (CMP) Scheme giving peace of mind to all potential tenants. We are also members of the government-approved MyDeposits Protection Scheme - providing all tenants complete protection of their deposits, preventing any stress for both landlords and tenants.

Interlet is also regulated by The Association of Residential Letting Agent (ARLA), the UK’S foremost professional body for letting agents. We keep up to date with changing regulations and comply with professional standards of the nationally recognised professional body for letting agents.

Stage 1

Start your search

Make an offer on a property

Once your offer is accepted then secure your property by placing a holding deposit (usually 1 week)

Gather your references

Read the draft tenancy agreement and how to rent guide.

Pay upfront rent and the balance of the deposit. Deposit taken is usually 5 weeks' rent.

Stage 2

Sign the tenancy agreement.

Recieve mandatory information (Gas Safety Certificate, EPC, Deposit Protection, EICR etc.)

Inventory checkin

once the first stage is completed the rest of the rental process is much easier


Before you can take a property in the UK, you must first have the Right to Rent.

This is automatic for British citizens, so if you have a current British passport, you can ignore the rest of this page.

Permanent Residents

If you have UK permanent resident status, you can present your Indefinite Leave to Remain document (usually a sticker in your passport) in order to prove your Right to Rent.

Settled Status

If you are an EU citizen with Settled Status (or Pre-Settled Status) you will have access to your Home Office share code. This share code is available from the Visas and Immigration website.

To obtain your code and view your immigration status, you will need to enter your date of birth and the details of the ID/Passport/Visa you used to prove your status to the Settled Status scheme.

Once you have sent your share code to your agent/landlord, they can use this code to obtain proof of your Right to Rent from the Home Office.

Visas, E-Visas and Time-Limited Right to Rent

If you do not have permanent residency or Settled Status, then you are considered to have 'time-limited' Right to Rent. This will last until the expiry of your entry documents. You must give the necessary documents to your agent, or generate a share code using the process described above.

If your country has an agreement that allows you a period of visa-free residency in the UK, you will have to provide proof of your arrival date and your nationality.

You are legally obliged to maintain the Right to Rent for the entirety of your stay.


As a general rule, your household income will need to be 3x the rental price of the property you wish to take.

This is to ensure that you have the ability to afford your rent whilst also paying for all other necessities of life.

Some agents and tenant referencing companies reject applicants with incomes less than 3.5 times the rental value, whereas others are more flexible.

Interlet tries its best to be understanding of applicant and tenant circumstances, within reason. We are generally able to find property for any budget and will advise applicants on how they can make their offers more attractive to individual landlords.

Utility Bills

Work out an estimate for your household utility bills, and factor that into your considerations on what property to choose. This will allow you to calculate two figures:

As a rule, the cost of bills is not included in the rent unless explicitly mentioned in the advertising.

A broadband connection is not considered a utility by most landlords, so it is advisable you do not assume this is provided unless it is also explicitly stated.

Council Tax

Unless all members of your household are full-time students, you should factor in the council tax costs of a property into your budget. Council tax is assessed in a series of bands that have letters (Band A being the cheapest and Band H being the most expensive).

In order to prove your exemption (or that you qualify for schemes such as single-occupant Council Tax discount), you must send your application and supporting evidence to your council. Failure to pay Council Tax can result in fines or criminal prosecution.

Choosing a property

The London property market is highly competitive.

This means that choosing a home will involve working out your priorities in advance to enable you to move quickly on matching properties.

When do you need to move in?

Interlet advises that applicants try to start their property search one month before their ideal move-in date. This will both increase the number of properties for you to choose from and remove any potential stress of a last-minute search.

For larger or more expensive properties, we would advise you to extend this time, as these properties are more rarely available and the tenancy process can take longer.How long do you need the property for?

When you rent a residential property for less than 6 months, this is called a Short Let.

Short Let tenancies are similar in law to hotel rooms, and this comes with advantages (such as increased flexibility) and disadvantages (fewer rights than Long Let tenants).

If a property is available for both Short and Long let, the Long Let price will usually be significantly lower than the Short Let price. This is because a Long Let (6+ months) offers a landlord more certainty and long-term income.

As a consequence, it is advisable to offer landlords the longest tenancy possible, to increase the attractiveness of your offer and lock in a lower rent. | 020 7795 6525

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