How to rent from a private landlord or letting agent

Letter template: Landlord references

This template helps you get together the information the landlord or letting agent might need.

This means they:

  • can see everything quickly

  • do not need to check documents or information

Delete any words you do not need.

[Use the subject: Renting history and references]

I would like to rent [address of property]. I would also like to know about any similar places to rent.

Renting history

I've been renting for [how long you have been renting].

I'm moving because [say why you are looking for a new home]. I want to sign up for a longer term tenancy.

I can pay £xxx rent in advance.

Work and income

I work for [name of employer]. My job is [your job].

My monthly income is £xxxx

[I can give you a recent credit report. My current score is xx]

References

My landlord's contact details are [add current landlord's details] .

I have attached references from [my employer, university or other person].

I look forward to hearing from you.

You can ask a current or previous landlord to write a reference that you can show to a new landlord or letting agent.

You can also send the letter as an email attachment or by post:

If you cannot get a landlord reference letter

You can ask someone else for a reference. For example:

  • an employer

  • a guarantor

  • a university or college

  • someone who knows you and can give a character reference

If you're an agency worker, get a reference that confirms your work history or what your working hours usually are.

Get all your other documents ready

Landlords and letting agents often also ask for:

  • proof of where you work (this can be a letter from your employer)

  • recent bank statements or pay slips

  • proof of benefits you claim

  • your accounts or proof of payments if you are self employed

Private landlords and agents must check the immigration status of all adults who live in a property they rent. Check what you need for a 'right to rent' immigration check.

Discrimination when looking for a home

Some landlords and agents might discriminate against people who:

Find out more about discrimination during a right to rent check.

They might also say that they can only rent to people who have a bank account in the UK, or who pass credit checks.

This could be discrimination if it means nobody who has recently moved to the UK can rent.

If you think you are being discriminated against, you can

Last updated: 28 September 2023

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