Phone (UK)

+44 203 4750315
Member login
Change site
Back to knowledge base


Rental reference checks for people moving from abroad to London

Rental reference checks for people moving from abroad to London

For anyone moving to London from abroad, the local rental market can seem a little confusing – not least the reference checks. Like anywhere in the world, landlords and letting agents in the UK capital must conduct background checks to reduce financial and legal risks associated with renting property – so you need to know what to provide before you can secure one.

Here’s a summary of the processes you will be exposed to and the types of documents you will have to provide when preparing to rent in London.

Right to Rent

The Right to Rent check was introduced by the Home Office to make it harder for people to live and work in England illegally. Letting agents and landlords are required by law to check that all tenants over the age of 18 who occupy their properties have legal status to live in the UK.

Acceptable ID documents for a physical Right to Rent check fall into three categories: List A, List A Group 2, and List B.

Some landlords outsource the ID verification element of Right to Rent checks to certified Identity Verification Service Providers (IDSPs).

Other checks

Landlords and letting agents in London also typically request the following documents as part of their own background checks:

  • Proof of employment and income: As an overseas resident you will probably be asked to provide proof of steady employment in the UK, and a reliable source of income by supplying documents like employment contracts, pay slips, or letters from their employers confirming their job status and income. Employment abroad will not be considered by landlords, only employment in the UK.
  • Bank statements: You will probably be required to prove you can cover the rent and associated expenses by providing several months of bank statements.
  • Previous rental history: Have details of your previous rental experiences to hand, such as rental agreements, proof of rent payments, and letters of recommendation from landlords.

Give yourself the best chance of securing your ideal rental property in London by preparing your documents before you start engaging with landlords and letting agents.


Looking to understand the London rental market, and master all the steps required to rent a property? Buy and download our Guide to Renting in London!

This guide gives you all the detailed information to help you understand renting in London, including:

  • How to decide where to live in London
  • How to find a home to rent
  • How to make a rental offer
  • How deposits work and how much they cost
  • Understanding rental contracts, and how to check your tenancy agreement

Click here for a preview of this fantastic guide!

More info, and Preview of the first pages!
Back to knowledge base