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Can I rent a property with a UK visa?

For those who have been granted permission to enter or stay for a limited period of time, finding accommodation is a crucial first step in your transition to the UK. The type and length of your visa will usually be the main factors which determine your ability to rent a property. This guide is written for those who want to learn more about the Home Office's Right to Rent Scheme, including the factors which landlords have to take into consideration when entering into a tenancy agreement.

What is the Right to Rent Scheme?

The Home Office's aim with this Scheme is to make it more difficult for people to live in the UK illegally. It was introduced across all of England in 2016 and requires landlords to conduct the necessary checks prior to the tenancy agreement for a private property.

Who Does the Right to Rent Scheme Apply to?

The Right to Rent Scheme only applies to individuals with a time-limited right to rent.

Time-limited Right

Individuals on a time-limited visa, such as a student, graduate, skilled worker, innovator, or spouse visa will have a time-limited right to reside in the UK. This means that anyone who holds these visas will have the right to rent a private property for the duration of their visa.

Unlimited Right

Individuals who are either British or Irish citizens, or have a right of abode in the UK (such as by holding indefinite leave to remain or settled status under the EUSS), do not have a time limit on their permission to stay or rent a private property in the UK.

Does the Right to Rent Scheme Apply to all of the UK?

No. The Right to Rent Scheme is only applicable to tenancies in England, not Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Does the Right to Rent Scheme Apply to All Types of Property?

The Right to Rent Scheme only applies to residential tenancy agreements. This means a contract between you and a private landlord to occupy a private property for a set period of time.

The Right to Rent Scheme does not apply to local authority accommodation, social housing, care homes/hospitals/hospices, hostels, refuges, mobile homes, student accommodation or long leases.

How Can I Prove My Right to Rent?

Once your visa has been granted, you will automatically be given a time-limited right to rent. Your landlord will conduct the necessary checks by accessing the Home Office's Right to Rent portal. This will include confirmation of your full name, permission to rent in the UK, and your photograph, all of which your landlord must use to verify your information within 28 days of the start date of your tenancy agreement.

Can I rent a property with a UK Visa?

Do I Need a Visa to Rent Holiday Accommodation?

If you are coming to the UK as a visitor for a holiday and want to stay in the same accommodation, you will not normally be subject to right to rent checks, especially if your stay is for a short, time-limited period. The Home Office advises landlords to conduct Right to Rent checks for bookings of 3 months or more, as this may suggest that the property is being used as a main home and not only for leisure.


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