Renting options for EU nationals living in UK

'Right to rent' immigration checks

If you're not a British or Irish citizen, your documents must confirm your permission to be in the UK.

Emergency options if you're homeless

In many areas there's a shortage of emergency and longer-term housing and it can be difficult to find a place to live.

Private hostels

A private hostel could be an affordable option if you've moved to the UK recently and are still looking into longer-term renting options.  

Private hostels may offer:

  • shared dormitory-style bedrooms  

  • individual rooms with their own bathroom

  • a self-catering kitchen and laundry services

  • WiFi internet access

You usually have to pay a deposit and up to 2 weeks' rent in advance.  

You won't have to give too much notice if you decide to move on.

LHA London provide hostels for young people working or studying in London

Renting privately

Renting from a private landlord is a longer term option. Most private renters have assured shorthold tenancies

The cost of renting in the UK varies widely. London is the most expensive city but some areas are more affordable than others.

You need to budget for the following upfront costs as well: 

  • a deposit - should usually be protected and refunded when your tenancy ends  

  • rent in advance - usually at least 1 month's rent but you could be asked for more especially if you've not rented in UK before

Many private renters use letting agents to help find a home.

Agents can't charge fees for things like referencing, affordability and immigration checks.

Shared housing

A room in a shared house or a flat share will be cheaper than renting the whole property. But it's important to think about who you'll be sharing with.

The type of tenancy agreement you get has a big impact on your rights, so it's very important to understand the arrangements.

Many shared houses are classed as houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). The landlord has extra legal responsibilities and must be licensed by the local council.

If you live with your landlord, you're classed as a lodger and have very limited rights - you can usually be asked to leave with reasonable notice.

Claiming benefits to help with rent

Universal credit is a benefit for working age people on a low income. It includes a housing element to help with rent. 

From 1 July 2021 new rules affect who can claim universal credit.

Renting from a council or housing association 

Council and housing association homes are cheaper than renting privately but there are long waiting lists in most areas.

The local council usually runs the housing register for this type of housing.

You can only apply for council housing if you're settled in the UK. For example, you have settled status under the EU settlement scheme.

Find out when you can apply if you have pre-settled status.

You might not be able to join the waiting list in some areas even if you have settled or pre-settled status. This is because councils also have their own local rules about who can apply.


Last updated: 7 October 2021

If you need to talk to someone, we'll do our best to help

Get help