What documents does a non-UK resident need to rent a house in the UK?

In this post, we'll take a look at what documentation an assignee to the UK (a non-UK resident) will need to provide in order to support an application to rent a residential property in the UK.

So, you've made a decision on a property and managed to get your offer accepted by the landlord.

What next?

Well, there will be certain formalities that need to be undertaken before the tenancy agreement is drafted and signed - basically, can you afford to pay the rent?

The letting agent or landlord will want to satisfy themselves that you are employed and are earning enough to be able to pay the rent. The last thing they want to do is evict a tenant for defaulting on the rent - not necessarily because they are deeply compassionate, but because it can be a costly and time-consuming business to do so.

There is always legislation

There are also some pieces of legislation that come into play to ensure that the rent and deposit is being paid from a legal supply of funds and that identity theft is not taking place.

The relevant legislation that covers this is as follows:  the Money Laundering Regulations 2007, the Fraud Act 2006, and the Immigration Act 2014. Yes, it is a bit of a nuisance for any prospective tenant, but it should not be ignored by any reputable letting agent.

Required documentation

Although the specific requirements do vary from agent to agent, as a rule, you can expect to be requested to provide the majority from the following list in order to satisfy the financial check and the legislation:

  • Photographic ID - EEA or Swiss passport

  • Photographic ID - current Biometric Residence Permit

  • Photographic ID - driving licence

  • "Right to work" - current Immigration Status Document issued by the UK Home Office and accompanying unexpired passport

  • Proof of address - utility bill, bank statement from your non-UK residence

  • Employment status - an official reference letter from your employer, confirming job title, duration of contract, salary and any eligibility for a rental allowance

  • Bank statements - usually for the last 3 months

  • Bank reference - some landlords may request a letter from your bank confirming you can afford to pay the rent

  • Reference from your previous landlord - only if you have been renting a different property in the UK previously

If you have just arrived in the UK it will be very difficult for you to provide many of these documents, so in order to keep things moving quickly it can be a good idea to arrange these before you come to the UK or start your house hunting.

Be aware that the agent will make copies of all documents you provide and hold these on file as part of their due diligence process.

Forewarned is forearmed, so hopefully when the letting agent tells you what they need to progress your application you will not pull your hair out in despair.

Happy house hunting!


Celsium is a relocation management company based in the UK, focusing on domestic and inbound UK relocation services to businesses relocating their employees. 

If you would like any support in the fields of relocation or UK tenancy, please contact us via our contact page.

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK