Living in the UK

Renting a property in the UK

Before you start your rental search

Before you start your rental search, you’ll need to carefully think about the type of property that best suits your needs and lifestyle. Here is a list of questions below for your consideration:

  • What is your budget?
  • Will the property be based within a commutable distance of the hospital?
  • Do you have furniture, or will you need a full or partially furnished property?
  • Do you have, or will you be purchasing, a car and therefore need off-street parking or a garage?
  • If you’re not looking to drive, are there public transport connections nearby?
  • Do you need to be based nearby to a school or nursery?
  • Do you want or need a garden for yourself, children or pets?

Finding a rental property

The quickest way to find a property is online – on property search websites – as you can easily search for the exact area you want, set your search filters accordingly and request viewings.

Below are the websites which are most frequently used when searching for a rental property online:

Another way of property searching is to register with the letting agents that are based locally to the hospital that you will be joining, as letting agents will often have access to local properties which aren’t yet advertised online.

As part of our end-to-end service, our relocation team will put you in touch with a number of the local letting agencies for your hospital. We will also assist you in arranging property viewings.

Arranging viewings

Once you’ve shortlisted a property or properties, then you should request to arrange a viewing. You can arrange a viewing via the website that you found the property on or by contacting the letting agent renting the property.

Before visiting the property in person, ask whether the letting agent offers a video tour or virtual viewing so you can get a feel for the property and whether or not it’s right for you.

Once you have arranged your viewing, we advise you to take a list of criteria and questions with you, for example:

  • How much is the monthly rent?
  • What’s included in the rent?
  • What additional bills are there? What is the likely cost? If it’s a house-share, how are the bills split and who pays them?
  • How much deposit is needed? Where will my deposit be protected?
  • What permitted payments do I need to pay to set up the tenancy?
  • Are there permitted payments further down the line if I choose to renew the tenancy?
  • How long is the contract?
  • What notice period is needed if I want to leave the property?
  • Who should I contact in the case of an emergency?
  • Does the landlord have insurance to cover the property? What insurance do I need to cover myself?

Do not make payment for a property without viewing it first.

Completing the paperwork

Once you’ve successfully applied for a property, you will normally be asked to pay a holding deposit. The paperwork process then begins and, as a minimum, will include:

  • Evidencing your employment
  • Evidencing your identification and right to rent in the UK
  • Reference checks
  • Credit/financial checks

Following this, you will be provided with a tenancy agreement which details all of the legal and contractual obligations that both you and your landlord must adhere to. It’s important that you familiarise yourself with the agreement before signing it.

Landlord documentation

Your landlord or agent must provide you with a number of documents at the start of your tenancy, by law. You can use the below list as a checklist:

  • A copy of this guide: ‘How to rent: the checklist for renting in England’
  • A gas safety certificate
  • Deposit paperwork
  • The Energy Performance Certificate

The landlord or agent should also provide you with a record of any electrical inspections and evidence that smoke alarms and any carbon monoxide alarms are in working order at the start of the tenancy. Tenants should then regularly check they are working.

Moving in

Before you move in the landlord or agent should have an inventory prepared to describe the condition of the property. An inventory is used when you leave the property to ensure that the condition that you leave it in can be fairly assessed against any deposit deductions that may come up.

Landlord and tenant responsibilities

Tenant responsibilities

  • Pay the rent on time
  • Pay the council tax
  • Pay the utility bills and the TV licence (unless otherwise agreed)
  • Maintain the property and advise of any repairs or maintenance needed as soon as it arises
  • Be considerate of neighbours
  • Test the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms

Landlord responsibilities:

  • Maintain the structure and exterior of the property
  • Insure the building to cover any damage from flood or fire
  • Install smoke alarms on each floor
  • Fit carbon monoxide alarms in rooms
  • Maintain appliances and furniture that they have supplied
  • Deal with problems related to water, electricity and gas supply
  • Carry out most repairs – If something is not working, report it to the landlord (or their agent) as soon as you can
  • Arrange an annual gas safety check by a Gas Safe engineer (where there are any gas appliances)
  • Give a minimum of 24 hours notice of visits for repairs or maintenance
  • Get a licence for the property, if it is a licensable property. This applies to properties where you rent a room in a shared house known as HMOs

Moving out

The period of notice that both you and your landlord must provide will be set out in your tenancy agreement. You should inform the landlord or their agent as soon as you have decided to move out so that they can advise you of the next steps and associated timelines.

When you leave the property, you will need to:

  • Have paid all of the rent due
  • Make sure all of your belongings have been removed from the property
  • Hand back all keys
  • Make sure that the property is clean (to a professional standard) and that all contents are left intact
  • Take a note of the meter readings
  • Redirect mail & cancel all media services
  • Cancel your standing order (we can’t do this for you)
  • Furniture must be left in the same place as stated on the inventory
  • Replace light bulbs that are not working
  • Ensure the garden has been tended to and left in the same condition as stated on your inventory and move in photographs

If you’re interested in working in the UK and would like to discuss the positions available in your specialty, and how we can assist you, please contact our team.