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Your Step by Step Guide to Renting a Property in the UK

When relocating to the UK there are a number of factors that can sometimes feel overwhelming during such a stressful period. DreamMove Relocation are here to help with the whole relocation process, allowing the employee to concentrate on work and family.

One of the key components when relocating is finding a property to live (either to rent or to buy). There are many reasons why this needs to be done right first time, such as…

  • Safety: Like most areas, there are the good and not so good – why not let a relocation agent remove the weeks / months of research required to identify these areas?
  • Schooling: Good schools for your children can determine whether the relocation is a success or not.
  • Social: New to the area, its important your area matches your social expectations to ensure everyone is happy.
  • Additional costs: for example hotel bills when arriving to your new City can soon accumulate into an expensive welcome.
  • Employee Productivity: able to concentrate on work sooner
  • Overall mental health and well being

To reassure those looking for information prior to relocation, we have summarised a step by step guide to the rental process.

The Viewing…

1. Most properties are advertised on online platforms such as Rightmove, Zoopla, On the Market. Once you have narrowed down a few properties online, to view them in person it is best to call up the estate agent and book a viewing (click link for our favourite platform). There is also normally a link to email the estate agent but we find its quicker to book over the phone.

2. The Agent will ask what seems to be a lot of personal information, Name address, job status, even income. And you will arrange a day or time to meet at the property, Remember to ask for the full address and name of agent you will be meeting, (usually the agent will need a minimum of 24hrs notice to booking a viewing)

3. When you view the property ensure to take as many notes as possible and even take a video if allowed. Ask questions to the agent such; Available date? What furniture is included? Who manages the property? Is it possible to repair certain items before moving in? etc.

The Offer…

1. Once you have made your decision about the property it is important to get everything agreed in writing. We suggest calling with the offer conditions and following up with an email confirming. Negotiating a rent reduction and if not improvements to the property along with the length of tenancy is usually a good tactic.

2. Now the offer has been formally agreed and you have had a response from the landlord/ agent, it is time to reserve the property and get it off the market as soon as possible.

3. The agent will usually ask for a reservation fee that is equivalent of 1 weeks rent or deposit and identification. Two forms of ID; one photo ID and one proof of address. A photo ID can be a valid Passport or a Driving License. For proof of address you would need a utility bill dated within the last 3 months. And if you are not from the from the UK or EU, you will need to show additional proof of Right to Residency.

4. Remember to read the terms and conditions at this stage because some costs may not be refundable. The reservation fee should be deducted from the first month’s rent /deposit, (there are no administration fees since early 2019).


1. The final stage before you get the keys to the property is referencing. Here the agent use a referencing company to check your employment details and credit rating to verify that you can afford the rent. Remember every adult (over 16) that is moving into the property needs to be referenced.

2. Usually you will be sent a link via email to fill in your details and upload any documents needed to qualify the referencing.

3. This process takes around 1-2 weeks, however you may call the agent or the referencing company for regular updates. The main time delay is how quick your employers respond to the referencing company so it’s worthwhile to have a direct point of contact within your company rather than a generic HR email address. Once the referencing is complete; you should agree a date and time to meet the agent to collect the keys, make the payment and sign the paperwork

The Day of Moving in…

1. Typically you will meet at the estate agents office. There you will make the final payment for rent and deposit (or we like to suggest paying before to prevent any mishaps).

2. Next you will sign the agreement (known as an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement) for the property, it is important to read through this properly, and you can ask for a copy to read through prior to attending.

3. The agent should legally give you a number of documents including, Copy of the tenancy agreement / Energy performance certificate / Gas certificate (if applicable) / Deposit certificate / Property inventory / A how to rent guide / Emergency numbers and whom to contact for maintenance / and the KEYS (normally one set per person referenced)

Final thoughts

Now you have your keys and you’re on your way to the property, the hard part is done. However there are a number of recommended procedures that you should carry out on the first day you get there. To find out check the blog for our step by step guide to protecting your deposit and reporting / getting maintenance completed.

Thanks for reading our step by step guide to renting in the UK.

At DreamMove We Offer a number of tailored Rental Sourcing Services to help you find the right place to live! Property Sourcing link

If you do require more in depth assistance; click Dreammove; we are here to help.

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