Whether you’re a local looking to rent a short stay apartment in London, or you’re an international traveller setting foot on British shores for the first time, there are some mandatory documents you will need to supply in order to secure an apartment rental. If you're currently in the midst of navigating your relocation to London, this handy guide will help you through the process.
But what happens when you’ve found an apartment you love, and you want to take the next steps to secure it? There are some mandatory checks any prospective landlord or letting agent must undertake before drawing up a tenancy agreement, including the Right to Rent checks.
A Right to Rent check is conducted as part of the government mandate to determine whether a tenant or lodger can legally rent residential property in England. These checks are compulsory, and must be carried out prior to agreeing on any residential tenancy.
It’s important to understand that these checks will be carried out by any prospective landlord or letting agent, regardless of the duration or nature of your stay. In order to help you through the process of completing the Right to Rent checks, we will detail the four fundamental documents you will need to be able to satisfy the requirements.
What is a short term let?
Right to Rent checks are conducted on all prospective tenants or lodgers, including short term let tenants.
A short term let is a tenancy agreement that is shorter than six months. This is ideal for professionals who are staying in Central London for a time frame longer than a week (where hotel accommodation might be better suited), but for less than six months (after which, you enter a “regular” tenancy agreement period.)
Choosing a short term rental allows you access to the same rights and responsibilities as a ‘regular’ tenant - such as satisfying the requirements of a tenancy agreement, paying a deposit, and monthly (or weekly) billing.
Short term lets are the affordable and practical alternative to hotel living. Short stay apartments are normally furnished, and offer a home-away-from-home feeling, an aspect often lacking in hotel setups. What’s more, at Dolphin Square, your short let tenancy grants you access to our excellent on-site facilities, including a bar, gym, and Moroccan spa.
The convenience our short term lets offer is exceptional. This is the ideal solution for business travellers who are looking for home comforts, convenience, and affordability for their temporary relocation to Central London.
Right to Rent Checks for Short Stay Accommodation
As we briefly mentioned, Right to Rent checks are a compulsory requirement in the UK. Short term lets offer a shorter tenancy period, but will require the applicant to undergo the same rigorous checks as they would for a normal tenancy period.
Below, we have answered some frequently asked question surrounding checks, to help you get a better understanding of it:
1) Will credit checks affect the applicants’ credit score?
Letting agents and landlords conduct a ‘soft search’ during your rental application, which does not affect your credit score.
These credit checks are conducted to see if you’ve had any issues paying bills in the past. Your explicit permission is required to carry out the credit check - but bear in mind that you will not be able to satisfy the Right to Rent requirements if you do not grant this permission.
The information that will be checked comes from the public data on your credit report; this does not include your credit history, and in most cases, your previous rent payment history won't be seen either.
2) Will applicants' references be contacted?
During your short let rental application, you will be asked to provide references.
This will usually be a letter from your most recent landlord or letting agent, as well as your employer. The landlord or letting agent will need to reference your tenancy behaviour, while your employer will need to confirm that you have a job and that your employment will continue during your tenancy period.
The format of references is usually a signed letter, and references will only be contacted if the letting agent or landlord needs further information or iteration on the contents of the reference letter.
If you are unable to provide these references, you can explain to your prospective letting agent or landlord the reasons as to why. Supporting evidence may be required in the absence of references, including previous tenancy agreements, or bank statements to prove prior rental payments.
Character references are another alternative - but it’s best to check with your prospective landlord or letting agent if this will be accepted in lieu of the standard references.
3) What ID checks will be conducted on the applicant?
Identity verification is another important aspect of the Right to Rent check.
Your prospective landlord or letting agent will require any immigration documents (including VISAs and permits), along with your official ID document (typically, your passport) to conduct the identity verification process.
The check will be conducted on all adults whose name will appear on the tenancy agreement. It’s important to know that even if you are the main tenant, any other adult who will be living with you needs to be verified, too. They will require the same documents as you for the identity check - including VISAs, permits, and passports.
What documents do I need to rent short stay apartments in London?
Now that we’re familiar with the details of the checks a prospective landlord or letting agent is obligated to conduct, we can take a closer look at the specific documents you will need to provide in order to pass the Right to Rent checks:
1) Reference Checks for Short Let Apartments in London
Reference checks are conducted to gain a better understanding of your previous tenancies, including timeous payments, as well as your behaviour during prior tenancies. Your employer will also need to confirm your employment at the time of application, and that your job will continue during your stay.
You will need to supply two references for your rental check, which are:
- Employer reference - typically in the format of a signed letter, detailing your current role, your employment period, and sometimes the salary you are receiving. This helps to confirm affordability, as well as providing assurance of income during your tenancy.
- Previous landlord or letting agency reference - also typically in the form of a signed letter, often on a letterhead in the case of lettings agencies. This reference will detail your payment history - paying in full, on time, each month. It will also provide a summary of your behaviour - i.e. - any transgressions against you as outlined in your former tenancy agreement, such as maintenance and upkeep of furnishings in a furnished apartment rental. It can also highlight favourable behaviours - such as leaving the property in great condition at the end of your lease.
2) ID (Identity) Verification Checks for Short Term rentals in London
ID or Identity Checks make use of your personal identification documents to confirm that “you are who you say you are”.
You will be required to provide your passport or another recognised form of personal identification - such as a driving license. This will need to be supplied in conjunction with any VISA or work permit you possess.
It’s important to note that the identity verification process will need to be conducted on all adults whose name will appear on the tenancy agreement. To expedite the process, it might be useful to have all the necessary identification documents available - for all adults - before applying for a rental.
3) Proof of address Checks for Short Let Rentals in London
Proof of Address checks are typically in the format of a current or previous tenancy agreement, and are also widely accepted in the format of past bills showing your current address. This requirement assists prospective landlords and letting agents in confirming your tenancy history, and provides concrete assurance of your current rental.
If you are an international traveller, you may choose to provide past bills or bank statements reflecting your international abode. Some landlords or letting agents may require a higher deposit, or upfront rental payments, if you are unable to provide any of the documents we have outlined - but it is always advised to check directly with them.
4) Proof of income Checks for Short Stay Accommodation in London
Proof of income can be demonstrated through payslips and bank statements. This requirement helps prospective landlords and letting agents determine your affordability, provides further assurance of income during your tenancy period, and allows landlords and letting agents to confirm that you will be able to make rent payments for the duration of your tenancy agreement.
Your short stay apartment in London awaits
At Dolphin Square, our leading letting agents are fully equipped to help you through the rental application process. We will advise you on which documents we require before you apply for a short let tenancy, and assist you in determining their feasibility.
Our corporate apartments offer the very best solution for local and international business travellers. We are dedicated to making your stay in Central London a memorable, comfortable, and enjoyable one.
We look forward to welcoming you to Dolphin Square.