Securing a property
To fully secure a property, you must be completely referenced, the contracts should be signed and returned and all money that the landlord/agency requested must be paid.
You are much more likely to be taken seriously and securing a house with less hassle if you are prepared.
Every agency requests different references. Having your documents ready should ensure your referencing process can be completed within a one-/two-week period. Guarantors will be required to provide the same documents.
Possible documents that you could be asked to provide:
It is a legal requirement that they view your passport and visa (if required) in person or via video transmission.
Proof of current address (usually dated within three months)
- Recent utility bill – gas, electricity, water, telephone (not mobile phones)
- Current council tax bill
- Tenancy agreement
- House or motor insurance certificate
- Current state pension notification letter
- Bank/building society statement
- Credit card statements from main provider
- HMRC tax notification documentation (this does not include P60s)
- Letter from the council confirming electoral roll listing
- NHS medical card
- University enrolment letter
- Employment reference confirming your time with employer and salary
- Current or previous landlord reference confirming the period you rented, the rental amount and whether the rent was paid in full and on time
- A credit check which confirms your address and also whether you have any county court judgements
Why are references so important?
We ask you (students) to obtain references very early in the process of looking for private rental accommodation. Why? Because it is a necessity and the only way to secure a property.
The sooner you are able to complete the referencing process the less stressful the process will be. All landlords and estate agents will vary slightly on what they are asking for; however, following our guide of what to get ready should ensure you are well set for when it comes the time of finding your perfect property.
To fully secure a property, you must be completely referenced, have contracts signed, and all money that the landlord/agency requests paid. Without this, properties that you have viewed will most likely be let to other students – as those students are better prepared than you. Ultimately, you will lose out so ensure you have started gathering your references before you start searching for accommodation.
Once you have found a property make sure to read your contract and that you understand it.
USL can advise on any clauses you are unsure of. We advise that you only rent through a landlord or letting agency which holds a professional accreditation. This ensures they uphold a code of conduct and helps if you need to escalate a complaint.
You can also carry out a Land Registry check to confirm you are dealing with the legal owner of the property, it may be the best £3 you spend.