From personal information, such as your name, to recent payslips to prove your financial circumstances, a landlord may ask for a number of documents. Specific information is required due to landlords and letting agents having to make sure that you are who you say you are, and that you’re likely to be a reliable tenant.
Just Landlords has been a provider of Landlord Insurance in the UK for the last ten years, and so, along the way, has developed an expert understanding of the private rented sector. With this in mind, the company has put together a round up of the information you may be asked for, when looking to rent from a new landlord.
Proof of identity
You will have to provide the landlord or letting agent with photo ID. This will typically be either a driving licence or a passport. If you do not have either of these options, a signed bankcard or a recent utility bill (usually from the last three months) from your current address may be acceptable.
You will be required to provide proof of income, which shows that you are able to afford the rent payments. There are a number of items a landlord may ask to see, for this. They could ask to see your contract of employment or award letters if you are claiming benefits. A letter from your current employer may be asked for, confirming where you work and how long you have been employed there. Recent payslips may also be required, or bank statements if you are self-employed.
Most landlords will want to run a credit check on any potential tenants, as it gives them peace of mind that they haven’t had any issues with paying rent in the past. They will need to get your written permission to do this.
Just remember, if you do have a less than desirable past, in relation to payments, you are best to be honest about it. Otherwise, you may be found out, and could end up losing any money that has already been paid to the landlord, if they change their mind about agreeing a tenancy with you.
Proof of right to rent
Anyone looking for a home in the UK to rent must show their passport or immigration documents, in order to prove that they have the right to stay and live here. If you do not have such documents, but you are a British or Irish citizen, then your birth certificate combined with another form of ID should be acceptable.
On top of this, the landlord or letting agent will need to see the identification documents of anyone living with you who is 18 years of age or older.
Providing a reference
In this case, you will need to provide contact information for your previous landlord, so that a check can be undertaken to ensure that you are in fact trustworthy and reliable.
You will also need to provide your current address. If you have moved around over the past three years, you will need to supply the information for each landlord and address, along with the dates you were there.
For those of you who have never rented before, a landlord may ask for the contact details of your parent or guardian.
Having a Guarantor
Some landlords or letting agents may require you to provide a guarantor. This means that if you fail to pay the rent at some point during your contract, the money will still be paid. Someone will have to agree to be your guarantor, and agree to pay your rent if you do not. This also applies to the costs for any damages that need paying.
A guarantor can be any UK resident who is aged between 18 and 75, with a good credit history and in a financial situation to be able to pay your rent, if needs be.
Overall, it may seem like there are a lot of steps to go through, in order to move into a rented house, but your landlord or letting agent will tell you what they need. And remember, if you are worried about handing over personal information, you are protected under General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law. Failing to handle your data as required by this law can result in a hefty fine, so it is in the best interests of landlords and letting agents to comply!