Houses and parked cars on a street in Manchester


Finding accommodation in the UK before you arrive can be tough, but your in the right place. We have put together some advice that can give you a head start and find an apartment before arrive here. The UK’s housing and rental market is competitive with rents rising throughout the country, the average house price in the UK now stands at £296,000 as of January 2023. But as a new arrival, you will not have built up enough of a credit rating to apply for a mortgage here yet, we will focus on finding you affordable rental accommodation.

How we can help

The first thing to know is we are your feet on the ground in the UK and will help you find accommodation through our network of letting agents. Applying for apartments overseas will be more difficult as the letting agent will often see this as a risk due to no history of credit reports, potential visa issues and the requirement of the vacancy to be filled quickly. We can speak to letting agents on your behalf after identifying which city you would like to live in, or where your new job is. We then do the leg work finding a accommodation for you.

Temporary Accommodation

Before you arrive in the UK, it is vital to have accommodation organised for the first week at least, we recommend 2-4 weeks. This is to allow time to find the right apartment for you or the right flatmates if you decide to rent a room, we will organise this with you before you arrive. The average hotel room outside London is around £350 per week, or if your budget is to stay in a hostel this is around £200.

Rental Accommodation

There are several options when choosing rental accommodation in the UK, if you can afford it you can rent an entire house or apartment, otherwise renting a spare room in one of these is an option. If you are intending on moving to London you will almost certainly be renting a spare room in an apartment, in smaller cities renting a room in a house is more common. When renting an entire property you have take into consideration the cost of energy bills, council tax, gardening costs and water bills etc.. The advantage of renting a room is all costs are included into 1 payment unless otherwise stated. Getting an entire property is difficult when you first arrive as you will not have built up a good credit score, although you could offer a few months deposit in order to counteract this issue.

Documents Required

When applying for accommodation you will need some documents, this is to identify who you are and to prove your ability to pay.

  • An employment contract stating your annual salary
  • Bank statement showing your savings
  • Passport and Visa documents
  • References from previous landlord abroad may be required

Rental Costs

The cost of rent varies depending on which part of the UK you are living in and the type of accommodation. The average rent in the UK as a whole is £1,174 per month as of January 2023, but this differs by region and city.

  • London – £1800
  • Rest of England – £1000
  • Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – £850

But as a newcomer you will be more likely to rent a one bedroom apartment or a single room.

  • London – One Bedroom Apartment – £1400
  • London – Single Room (Inc Bills) – £935
  • Rest of England – One Bedroom Apartment – £650
  • Rest of England – Single Room (Inc Bills) – £550
  • Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – One Bedroom Apartment – £600
  • Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – Single Room (Inc Bills) – £540

Rental Website

We recommend SpareRoom to help you in your accommodation search. If you require additional help with finding a property or anything else, contact us to get started.

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