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I'll be spending the first three months of 2017 in the UK (near London), possibly longer.

What documents exactly would a potential landlord want to see? Could a landlord demand a higher deposit since I am new in the UK (and less predictable)? Or maybe a bank guarantee? Would an agency or private landlord be more flexible? Would it be easier to find something if I it has a time limit. This way, they know they get rid of the tenant, if it happens that he doesn't pay. Or do they prefer long term tenants? The French company I work for has no offices in the UK.

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For a rental period of about 3 months, they're likely to just ask you for all 3 months rent up front. They'll also want a deposit of 1-1.5 months rent, which you'd get back when you return the flat in a good condition (including cleaning).

Documentation wise, assuming you've already paid, the main things they now need (following a recent-ish government change to the law) is proof that you're in the UK legally (right to rent check)

If you find a private landlord willing to do a short rent, they might be willing to let you pay 1 month at a time (as would be common for longer lets), in which case they might want someone to act as guaranteur for you as you won't have any credit history in the UK.

Otherwise, you could look at Serviced Apartments and other short-stay things like holiday lets - they'll be more expensive, but better setup to handle someone wanting to stay for just a few months

(There's quite a few fees, many paid by the landlord, involved in renting a flat out and changing over tenants, which is why many don't want to bother with only a 3 month tenancy)

  • My UK letting agent ran an international credit check based on my address in the previous country (Canada). – gerrit Oct 26 '16 at 13:52
  • @gerrit When I rented my UK flat out for 3 months, to a visiting fellow from overseas, the letting agent demanded all the rent up front from the tenant without even asking me! They said that was their standard policy on 2-4 month lets, and that matches what other people I know have found – Gagravarr Oct 26 '16 at 17:10
  • Right, my comment was specifically on they might want someone to act as guaranteur in case of longer lets. I feared this both before I entered Canada and before I entered the UK, but both my wife and myself could rent without in both cases. – gerrit Oct 26 '16 at 17:14
  • The law on renting for less than six months is significantly different to that for over six months. A landlord might want to avoid it because if they are not careful, they may find they are unable to evict you after three months ... and then they are liable to the tenant that they have lined up to move in after you. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Nov 2 '18 at 14:50
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For your 3 months, you could book an apartment with AirBnb, that would the simplest way. No hassle, no documents to provide. You would have to pay AirBnb the whole amount upfront though.

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