Renting a house in London

All you need to know: zones, documents and tips.

If you are reading this page you have probably already developed the idea of renting a house in London, but you still do not know in depth the Anglo-Saxon real estate procedures. On this page we will explain all the necessary steps and the documents you need to rent a house in London in line with your needs.

Where to rent a house in London and how to choose the area

Per prima cosa è necessario valutare bene l’area che ti interessa: a seconda delle zone le abitazioni londinesi possono differire molto riguardo il prezzo di partenza per l’immobile, i servizi limitrofi e le tasse, come abbiamo illustrato nell’articolo sul nostro blog Tasse sugli immobili.

Choosing the right area also makes a difference in terms of the quality of life in the neighbourhood. For example, if you want to rent a house in London with a dog, it will be important to have a park nearby where you can take him for a walk.

At Welcome Home we know the city and the offer of each area well and will help you identify the best location based on your preferences.

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Renting a house in London
Renting a house in London

How to rent a house in London: deposit and references

Once you have identified the location for the house, drawn up a list of the characteristics that the property should have and established the rough budget, the most “difficult” part arrives: convincing the owner and the agency that represents him that you will be an excellent tenant,solvent and collaborative and that you will keep the house in excellent condition.

If you do not have an employment contractand references that certify what you declare, the real estate agency usually asks for6 months’ rent in advance plus a security deposit equivalent to 5 weeks of the agreed rent. The deposit cannot exceed this amount and once paid it must be duly registered in a third-party account regulated by the government. This is the DPS Deposit Protection Scheme of which Welcome Home is member of.

If, on the other hand, you already have an employment contract, simple but scrupulous references will be enough that will be made by some companies appointed by the agency. Companies are responsible for certifying your statements, for example: where you currently reside, your income, your right to reside in the UK, etc.

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Documents for renting a house in London

The tenancy agreement is unique and is called AST (Assured Shorthold Tenancy)and you can download it from the government website ( or other sites regulated by trade associations.

The contract can vary from aminimum of 6 months to several years, and essentially regulates the relationship between the tenant and the owner. It is not possible to obtain an AST to rent a house in London for a month.

The lease agreement, unlike in Italy, is not registered with the HMRC when you enter the house. The contract is signed digitallywith programs such as AdobeSing or DocuSing, which have legal value in England.

The notice to terminate the lease is usually 2 months. To withdraw from an existing contract there must be a mutual agreement between the tenants and the landlord. In fact, both have the right to exercise the termination clause of the contract.

Our 5 teams based in London are at your disposal for give advice the drafted contract.

Renting a house in London
Renting a house in London

Renting a house in London: what is inventory check-in

The inventory or inventory check-in is nothing more than schedule of condition of the state of the house upon delivery of the keys, which is carried out before the move-in, or rather your entry.

It is a real property report that describes in detail the conditions of the house with photographs and related captions. The inventory also contains the readings of the meters for electricity, water and gas.

The inventory check-in is signed by both parties as having acknowledged the state of the house which must then be delivered as it is at check-out, or at the end of the tenancy agreement.

We are to your assist more on the topic.

Utilities and other expenses

Unlike Italy in England, condominium expenses, such as heating in the event that it is centralized, are included in the agreed rent and are paid by the owner.

Some apartments, being historic and therefore without insulation or double-glazed windows are very expensive in terms of heating:our advice is to always ask the agency for an estimate

The utilities that will be charged to the tenant are:

– Electricity, the tenant will have to call the company that deems most appropriate and communicate his name, address and the relating readings noted on the inventory check in.
– Gas, , the tenant will have to call the company he deems most appropriate and communicate his name, address and the relating readings noted on the inventory check in.
– Water  / Thames Water, if the readings appear in the inventory it means that exist a meter water reading, the tenant will only have to communicate to the indicated company the date of the move-in of the new home

In Welcome Home we are by your side in every step and take care of all communications and payments, including the Council Tax

Renting a house in London
Renting a house in London

What is the Council Tax in London?

A separate expense is the Council Tax: it is a tax calculated on the basis of the accommodation and the area in which it is located. The Council Tax relates to the services in the areaand is considered to all intents and purposes as a user in terms of transfer and management.

This tax is chargedto the tenant and if you live alone you are entitled to a 25% discount. If you are a renting student you are exempt from paying.

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