Rent in advance

Private landlords usually ask for at least a month's rent up front. You can sometimes get help to pay rent in advance.

Payments before you move in

Most private landlords ask you to pay at least a month’s rent in advance.

Your landlord will usually ask for a tenancy deposit too.

If you pay rent in advance and a deposit at the same time, make sure it's clear:

  • what each payment is for
  • how much rent is covered by the payment

Ask for a receipt if you pay cash for your rent in advance or deposit.

Find out how to get help to pay rent in advance and a deposit

How many months in advance you can be asked to pay

There's no legal limit on how many monthly or weekly advance payments you can be charged.

Some landlords will ask for 6 months' rent in advance or more.

It is illegal for landlords to disguise extra fees in rent in advance payments. You can't be charged more than what your rent would be for that period.

Example

Your monthly rent is £700. Your landlord asks for 2 months' rent in advance.

You pay £1400 rent in advance (£700 x 2 months)

When you have to make your next rent payment

Your tenancy agreement should say when your next payment is due.

If it doesn't, ask your landlord when they expect you to make your next payment.

Sometimes you won't have to make another payment until the months you've already paid for have passed.

Example

Your tenancy starts on 1 January. Your monthly rent is £700.

Your landlord asks for 2 months' rent in advance.

You pay £1400 rent in advance.

Your next payment of £700 is due on 1 March.

Some landlords ask for rent in advance to cover rent both at the start and end of your tenancy.

Example

Your tenancy starts on 1 January. Your monthly rent is £700.

You pay £1400 rent in advance.

Your contract states that £700 is for the first month of your tenancy and £700 is for the final month. 

Your next payment of £700 is due on 1 February.

You won't have to pay any rent in the final month of your tenancy because you've already paid it in advance.


Last updated 28 Nov 2019 | © Shelter

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