Everybody knows that looking for accommodation in the UK can be an extraordinary difficult task. But it is still much more difficult for foreigners; especially if it is not just a room that they want to rent, but a complete flat just for them. Is this your case? Then you will have to take the following in account:
PASSPORT AND PERSONAL DATA
First, you will be required to show your passport and visa (the latter only if applicable), and you will be asked for some personal information, like how long you have been living in the country and what do you do for a living.
Like in many other places, in London it is impossible to hire an apartment without having an employment contract that guarantees that you are able to pay for the rent. In addition, they will usually require that your salary should be at least twice the rent.
It is not a good idea to pay the rent in cash, as you may understand, so there is no choice but to have a bank account. But keep in mind that it has to be a British Bank account (it cannot be a foreign one), and you will have to make the monthly payments from that account. You will be also required to have enough funds to cover the expected initial payment, which normally means the first month and a deposit of one or two months in advance. Also don´t forget about the commission of any agency is involved!
EMPLOYMENT AND BANK DOCUMENTS
Other documents you will be asked to show are your last three pay-rolls and your last banking transactions. It could be the case that you have just arrived to the UK and have only opened your British bank account very recently, but that shouldn´t be a problem . However, you still might be asked to show the banking transactions of your foreign account.
It doesn´t have to be a very serious or polite letter of recommendation written by someone important or arguing that you are the best person in the world, but some kind of standard reference is often needed. Normally, people get their references from their former employers but a recommendation from your last renter is also highly regarded.
Consider the above as the usual requirements, but there can still be a lot more depending on the owner or the agency. Sometimes for example, you will have to allow them to check your criminal records.