Back to FAQ's

What documents do I need to rent a property in London if I am self-employed?

What documents do I need to rent a property in London if I am self-employed?

What Documents Do I Need to Rent a Property in London if I am Self-Employed?

Typically, if you are renting a property in the UK you will be asked to provide the estate agency or landlord with proof of your income from employment such as a few months’ worth of payslips or bank statements where your salary is paid. However, if you are self-employed, this can be trickier to do since many self-employed individuals do not get a regular form of income that can be proven with payslips.

Renting When Self-Employed is Possible

The good news is that there are several things that you can do to prove your self-employed income and get the keys to the rental property that you want. You may be able to:

Provide Proof of Work When Self Employed in London:

You may be asked to provide proof of your self-employment to your landlord or estate agents when looking to rent a property. While the best way to do this is by providing copies of your previous self-assessment tax returns, you can also provide proof in a variety of other ways. If you own a limited company and are listed on Companies House as a director of this company, this can be helpful information. In addition, references from willing clients to confirm any contracts that you have with them might also help your application, although these are not always necessary.

Provide Tax Returns:

Your tax return for the year will show how much money you have earned, and this can be used to let your landlord or estate agency know your income. If you are self-employed and do your tax returns through self-assessment, this should be a fairly straightforward process. If you own an LTD company, you will need to show self-assessment tax returns for your personal income rather than the tax returns for your business. It might be easier to show proof of income to your landlord or estate agency if you own a business and pay yourself a regular salary. Typically, you will be asked to show three years’ worth of tax returns although your landlord or estate agency could ask to see more or less depending on your situation.

Bank Statements:

Whether you are a sole trader and receive payments directly into your bank account from clients or pay yourself a salary from your company bank account, showing proof of your income by providing bank statements to your landlord or estate agency can work too. If you are self-employed and get regular weekly or monthly deposits into your account, your bank statement can prove your regular income and will usually be accepted if you are newly self-employed and don’t yet have any proof of income in the form of tax returns to show. Typically, your landlord or estate agent will ask to see six months’ worth of bank statements so that they are satisfied that you are paid regular deposits into this account from self-employment.

Landlord References:

You may be able to help your application for a rental property if you are self-employed by providing your new landlord or estate agency with references to contact your previous landlord or estate agency. If you have been renting a property while self-employed and have always paid the rent on time, a good word from your previous landlord could help to sway the decision in your favour and provide your new landlord with peace of mind that your income is steady and large enough to make rental payments comfortably.

How to Rent a Flat in London With Upfront Payment:

You may be able to pay a larger upfront payment to cover your rent in advance if you are self-employed. This can help to ease any worries that the landlord or estate agents might have when it comes to you being able to afford the property. Offering to pay six month’s rent upfront can help your application since it shows that you have access to the money required to be able to do this. In addition, paying more rent upfront gives you some more financial breathing room when moving into the property as your first few rent payments are already covered.

Can You Rent a House With a Guarantor?

Finally, if you are unable to pay more rent upfront or do not have a lot of proof of income, for example, if you are quite newly self-employed, you may be asked to provide a guarantor. A guarantor is an individual who agrees to cover the rental payments in the event of you being unable to meet them. Landlords and estate agents have differing requirements for guarantors. In some cases, your guarantor may need to be a homeowner, and they will usually have to pass a credit check and provide proof of their own income or savings to ensure that they will be able to meet the financial commitment of covering your rental payments if you cannot.

How to Find Somewhere to Rent In London When You’re Self-Employed

If you are self employed you will need these 6 pieces of documentation:

  1. Valid in date passport (we will need to view the original document 28 days before your tenancy start date). This is a UK legal Requirement, Right to rent.
  2. Valid in date visa (we will need to view the original document 28 days before your tenancy start date). This is a UK legal Requirement, Right to rent.
  3. 6 months most recent bank statements – from your account that shows where you pay your rent and where your pay goes into.
  4. 3 years of your most recent tax returns (not from your business but your personal ones)
  5. If you are a homeowner then we would need to see proof of homeownership (either mortgages statement or deeds).
  6. Proof of address must be dated within three months of the tenancy start date. It must show an issue date.

The following forms of proof of place of residence are accepted: 

  • Energy provider bill – with your residential address mentioned for supply etc.
  • Bank letter confirming your residential address
  • UK Driving license (must have the date within 3 months of tenancy start date)
  • Mortgage statement
  • Certificate of voter registration
  • Correspondence between you and a government authority regarding the receipt of benefits such as a pension, unemployment benefits, housing benefits, etc.
  • Gas bill
  • Electricity bill
  • Water bill
  • Cable company bill
  • Landline telephone bill
  • Doctors letter

If you would like to read more about the legal requirements of right to rent in the UK, please click here.

Hopefully the above information answers your question ‘What documents do I need to rent a property in London if I am self- employed?’.  When you rent a flat through Greater London Properties, we work extremely hard to ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible and keep you updated every step of the way.

If you would like to view our rental properties in London please visit out website.

Send this to a friend