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A Comprehensive Guide to Renting in the United Kingdom

Louise Villalobos

ByLouise Villalobos

Oct 19, 2023

As house prices continue to rise in the United Kingdom, many people now prefer renting to buying since it is more affordable. Are you moving to the United Kingdom? This guide helps you understand the real estate market in the UK and teaches you how to secure a rental. Keep reading to learn more.

Renting in the United Kingdom

The UK Department for Housing, Communities, and Levelling Up is the government agency that oversees housing in the region. However, housing policies vary in the four countries that make up the United Kingdom.

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Here are the top places for renting in the United Kingdom:


This is the capital city of the UK, hosting over 9 million residents, making it one of the world’s most populous cities. Statista data shows that 35% of London residents are foreigners, most of whom live in rentals.

Considering the job opportunities, universities and businesses available in London, it is no surprise that the city hosts a huge number of internationals. However, the demand for rentals in London has significantly increased renting rates. The average monthly rent is Β£1,450. This figure is almost double the national average.


Known for hosting some of the biggest football clubs in the world, Machester is the largest city in northern England. Moreover, big companies like Co-op Group, Adidas, and Kellogg’s have headquarters in Manchester. In terms of population, about 25% of people living in this city are foreigners.

It will cost you roughly Β£850 per month to rent a home. Apartments can be found in areas such as Deansgate, while terraced and family houses are located in places like Didsbury.


This is Scotland’s capital city. Edinburgh is among the UK cities considered the most beautiful. If you are an art lover, you will enjoy your stay here because Edinburgh hosts several international arts festivals yearly. However, you may find the frequent wet and cold weather inconvenient.

About 25% of the population in Edinburgh live in rentals, according to the UK’s Office for National Statistics 2022 report. Additionally, 15% of the people living in that city are non-British. The average monthly rate is Β£950.


Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, has witnessed massive growth in recent years due to its booming job market and transport infrastructure, which have attracted foreigners who now make up 14% of the entire population. However, the growth has led to increased renting rates. In 2020, the average monthly rate was Β£700; The figure has shot to Β£830 in 2023. Most of the properties available for rent are studio flats and apartments.

Where Can You Find a Place to Rent in the United Kingdom?

Online Portals

You no longer have to walk around looking for rentals. Today, there are several websites in the United Kingdom that list rentals to streamline your house search. Some of them include OpenRent, Homelike, Zoopla, Spotahome, Rightmove, and Rentify.

Letting Agents

As a foreigner in the UK, we recommend you hire a letting agent to help you find your ideal rental, as these professionals have contact with several tenants around the region.

Local Papers

You can find rental advertisements in local newspapers, as there are landlords who prefer to keep things traditional.

How to Rent a Home in the United Kingdom

Renting Through Letting Agent

In this case, you only deal with the agent, not the property owner. So, if you have any issues, such as repairs, you are supposed to contact the letting agent.

After the agent finds you your perfect home, you may be requested to pay what’s called a holding deposit so the house can be taken off the market. This deposit is usually about 25% of the monthly rent. When you are ready to move in, a tenancy deposit must be paid. After that, you will be refunded the holding deposit.

Before moving in, the letting agent may ask you to provide the following:

  • Proof of immigration status.
  • Identification document like a passport.
  • Documents showing financial status. It could be bank or employment statements.
  • Your credit history.

Renting a House Directly From a Landlord

Dealing directly with a landlord in the UK helps you avoid extra agency charges. However, it is important to ensure that the agreement you enter with them protects your rights as a tenant.

Louise Villalobos

Louise Villalobos

Louise Villalobos is an adept writer, renowned for her compelling articles that illuminate and engage. Her prowess in breaking down intricate subjects provides readers with clarity and nuance. With a vast and varied portfolio, Louise has solidified her standing as a distinguished voice in contemporary journalism.