Your landlord will almost certainly run a credit check to make sure that a/you don’t have a history of bad debt and b/that you can afford the rent.
To pass a credit check, you’ll need proof that your income is at least 2 or 2.5 times the rent. For this you’ll probably have to provide contact details for your employer.If you don’t have a full time job, or you’re self-employed you might be asked to provide copies of your bank statements for the past three months.
You’ll also need details for your current or most recent landlord who will have to confirm how much rent you’ve paid and over what period.
In addition, you will have to provide your addresses for the past three years, proof of ID and proof of any name changes.
Most landlords and letting agents run online credit checks which only take three or four days at the most to complete.
What if you fail?
If your income falls shy of 2x the annual rent, or if you’ve only been in your current job for a short period or you’re still in your probationary period, it’s possible you’ll fail the credit check. So what can you do?
Some landlords will still accept you, but they’ll probably ask for extra security, such as 6 months’ rent upfront or a higher deposit.
Alternatively, you might be asked to provide a guarantor. This is someone who will agree to pay the rent if you don’t. Usually it’s a parent or another relative, but it can be anyone who is either a home owner or has sufficient income to cover their own costs plus your rent. They will also have to pass a credit check.
If you think it’s unlikely you’ll pass a credit check on your own, it might be worthwhile having a guarantor lined up and telling the landlord this is an option from the outset.