It’s standard practice in the UK for landlords or letting agents to run a credit check on your credit file when seeking to rent property. This creates problems for certain groups of people including: anyone who has recently moved to the UK from foreign workers to international students, people with poor credit, and many others. It seems unfair but the truth is that landlords are mainly interested in finding tenants who have a history of paying bills on-time. Unfortunately, facing a credit check for a flat rental is a reality that won’t go away anytime soon, which brings us to the central question:

Is Renting With Bad Credit Possible in the UK?

Short answer: yes. However it tends to be more difficult and sometimes more expensive. The best advice is to begin working towards building credit, but it takes time to do it properly. In the meantime here are a few tips to help with renting with bad credit: 

Ask Family or Friends to be a Guarantor

One of the easiest ways to prove to landlords that you are trustworthy is to have a family member or friend vouch for you in the form of a guarantor. A guarantor essentially agrees to pay your rent if you are unable to, along with any damages to the property or missed back payments. It’s important to remember that this is a serious and legally binding position to put a friend or relative in. Nevertheless, adding a guarantor with good credit to a flat application will often result in approval.

Pay for a Guarantor Service

If you can’t find a willing family member or friend with good credit to sign as a guarantor, another option is to pay for one. Be prepared to pay at least  £300 or more in addition to the rent fees if you decide to pursue this option. Also, most guarantor services require you to sign a contract and prove that your salary is 1.5 times your rent with a stable job.

Offer to Pay Rent in Advance

Some landlords will accept a lump sum payment of rent in advance. This usually has to be between 6 and 12 months of rent paid in advance to get consideration from a landlord. This is how many wealthy international students find housing in the UK for studies. It goes without saying that it is difficult for most people to gather such a high amount to pay all at once but it does remain an option if you can pull it off.

Consider a Shared House

It’s common to find opportunities with flatmates who are already renting a place when one suddenly needs to move out and be replaced. Oftentimes if the other tenants agree to let you move in, the landlord will not require a credit check since the rent is split between all of the tenants. There are several online posting boards to find shared housing with flatmates! 

Improve Your Credit History To Gain Better Housing

Building your credit file properly is the best long term solution to finding better housing and rental deals. In fact, An ‘excellent’ credit score could save you tens of thousands £s over a lifetime. Portify is helping the hardest workers build credit the right way

Learn more about how we’re helping our community build healthy credit through partnerships with all of the major Credit Reference Agencies in the UK: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

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Lauren Robson is the digital communications manager at Portify.
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