How to rent a home, things to know when you are looking to rent a property

Moving home can be extremely daunting and stressful (but it doesn’t have to be!) – in actual fact, it is commonly known to be one of the most stressful things you do in life. Whether you are a first-time renter, you’ve just moved to the UK and are looking to rent, or you are a serial renter who just needs some guidance on how the process should go, here are some pointers as to how you can make life easier for yourself when renting a home.


Documentation needed when renting a home

Whether it be that you rent through a Letting Agent or a private landlord, you will likely be asked for some form of ID. Most agents will ask you for one, if not all, of the following:

  • Proof of ID
  • Proof of Address
  • Proof of Right to Rent in the UK

It is handy to have these ready and waiting before you even find a property to allow yourself to be prepared for when the time comes. If you are looking to rent soon, it makes sense to ensure that you have all of these prepared so the process is not slowed down when you find a home that is right for you. 


Referencing when renting a property

When you secure a property that you are looking to move in, the estate agent dealing with your request will start trying to conduct some background checks on yourself and any other person that will be a tenant. These usually consist of, but are not limited to:

  • Employment Reference
  • Previous Landlord Reference
  • Credit Check

Referencing can be a long or slow process depending on circumstances. If you give your employer and landlord plenty of notice that they are likely to receive a call or an email asking for a reference, this will stand you in good stead to move through your referencing swiftly.

Also, check on your credit before applying for a property. An agent will likely ask you if you have any adverse credit, and if you do, do not fret, there are ways agents may be able to help. For example, they may ask if you can get a Guarantor to guarantee the rent for you. If you think you can get a Guarantee, why not speak with the person you feel will likely do this for you before applying, so you are prepared and ready.

Useful, free websites to check on your credit file include these listed here: &


Payments required when moving into a rented home

Every Landlord and Letting Agency varies slightly, but usually, upon move-in, you will have a few payments to make upfront, so before considering renting, please note the following costs:

  • Holding Deposit
  • First Month’s Rent in Advance
  • Security Deposit

When you ask to proceed with a property, you will likely be asked to pay a Holding Deposit. This is capped at the equivalent of one week’s rent. A deposit tells the Landlord or Letting Agency that you are committed to moving forward with the property. The Holding Deposit is entirely refundable when you move into the property or can be deducted from the first month’s rent. You should be asked which is your preference.

You’ll also likely be asked to pay your first month’s rent in advance on the signing of the tenancy. You will also need to pay a security deposit in case of any damages/dilapidations that may need claiming at the end of the tenancy.

The security deposit is lodged with a Government protected Deposit Scheme such as The Deposit Protection Scheme (DPS) or Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS). There are other schemes, and any deposit is taken must be protected by such a scheme within 30 days of payment.

For a property that achieves less than £50,000 per annum in rent, the security deposit is capped at five weeks rent.

Your security deposit is refundable at the end of a tenancy subject to a “Check Out” inspection having been conducted and compared with the original “Check In” Inventory.


Insurance needed for renting a home

It may be worth considering at this point whether to take out some insurance. Your Landlord should have insurance too, but this will not cover your belongings. Therefore you may wish to take out contents insurance.

You might also consider taking out liability insurance to cover the Landlord’s fixtures and fittings in case of any accidental damages. This may prevent a Landlord from taking money from your security deposit if there is accidental damage.


What You Should Receive Upon Move-In when renting

Upon moving into the property, the Landlord or Letting Agent should provide you with the following:

  • Copy of the Inventory
  • “How to Rent Guide”
  • Copy of the EPC, Gas Safety Certificate & Electrical Installation Condition Report
  • Details of the scheme in which your security deposit is held

It’s also worth noting that if it is not the Letting Agent managing the property, you should also receive the Landlord’s contact details.


Help when renting a home in Chesterfield

If you require any further help regarding renting, or indeed anything else property related, please call us on 01246 232156 or email us at You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates.