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Accommodation in the UK: Regulations, Options, First Steps and Tips for Tech Immigrants


The UK housing market is one of the largest and most dynamic in the world. It consists of a range of different property types, from traditional houses and flats to new-build apartments and luxury homes. The market is driven by a complex set of factors, including the state of the economy, demographic changes, government policies, and local market conditions.

One of the most significant trends in recent years has been the ongoing rise in house prices, particularly in London and the South East of England. This has made it increasingly difficult for many people, particularly first-time buyers, to get onto the property ladder.

At the same time, there has been a boom in the private rented sector, with increasing numbers of people choosing to rent rather than buy. This has led to a significant increase in demand for rental properties, which has in turn driven up rents in many parts of the country.

Here are some tips for researching neighbourhoods and finding suitable accommodations for tech immigrants:

While a UK tech visa such as the Innovator Founder visa or Global Talent Visa can provide opportunities for immigrants, it is not a guarantee of finding the best apartment in the UK. However, there are steps that immigrants can take to find affordable, safe, and comfortable housing in the UK:

1. Research the rental market: It is essential to research the rental market in the UK to get an idea of the prices, locations, and types of properties available. You can do this by checking online property listings, speaking to local estate agents, or asking for recommendations from friends and colleagues.

2. Set a budget: Determine how much you can afford to spend on rent and utilities each month, and stick to that budget. Keep in mind that you may need to pay a deposit and agency fees on top of your monthly rent.

3. Understand the rental process: Familiarise yourself with the rental process in the UK, including the types of tenancies available, references, credit checks, and deposits. Seek advice from a professional if you are unsure of anything.

4. Be prepared for the application process: Landlords and letting agents may require proof of income, references, credit checks, and a deposit. Have all necessary documentation ready to present when you find a suitable property.

5. Consider location: Think carefully about the location of the property and how it fits with your lifestyle. Consider proximity to work, public transport, schools, and other amenities.

6. View properties before renting: Always view a property before signing a rental agreement. Take note of any defects or issues that need to be addressed before moving in.

Accommodation in the UK. Best UK tech neighbourhood in London:

London is a global tech hub, and there are many neighbourhoods across the city that are home to thriving tech communities. Here are some of the top IT neighbourhoods across London that we suggest you consider:

  • Shoreditch – is a popular neighbourhood for tech startups and entrepreneurs, with a thriving tech community and a range of coworking spaces and tech-focused events. It’s also home to Silicon Roundabout, a cluster of tech companies located around Old Street.
  • King’s Cross has undergone significant regeneration in recent years, and is now home to a range of tech companies, including Google’s London headquarters. It’s also home to the Knowledge Quarter, a partnership of knowledge-based institutions that includes the British Library and the Francis Crick Institute.
  • Camden has a long history of innovation and creativity, and is now home to a range of tech companies, from startups to established firms. It’s also home to Camden Market, a popular destination for tech events and pop-ups.
  • Canary Wharf is best known as London’s financial district, but it’s also home to a growing number of tech companies, particularly in the fintech space. It’s well-connected to the rest of London via the Jubilee line and DLR.
  • Whitechapel is an up-and-coming neighbourhood in east London, with a growing tech community and a range of coworking spaces and tech-focused events. It’s also home to the Royal London Hospital, which is involved in cutting-edge medical research and innovation.

Renting a property in the UK typically involves several steps:

  1. Application: If you decide to proceed with renting the property, you will need to fill out an application form and provide information about your employment, income, and previous rental history. You may also need to undergo a credit check to verify your financial standing.
  2. References: The landlord or letting agent may also request references from your employer, previous landlord, or other people who can vouch for your character and ability to pay rent.
  3. Deposit: You will typically need to provide a deposit, which is usually equal to one to two months’ rent, to secure the property. The landlord must protect your deposit in a government-approved scheme and provide you with information about the scheme within 30 days of receiving the deposit.
  4. Tenancy agreement: Once your references and credit check have been approved, you will need to sign a tenancy agreement, which outlines the terms and conditions of the tenancy, such as the rental amount, the length of the tenancy, and any restrictions on the use of the property.
  5. Move-in: Finally, you will need to pay your first month’s rent and any fees associated with the tenancy, such as agency fees or inventory fees, before you can move in. The landlord or letting agent will also provide you with keys and a check-in inventory, which lists the condition of the property and any furnishings or appliances that are included in the rental.

This guide is an official publication by and is intended for individuals who are privately renting a home under an assured shorthold tenancy, whether directly from a landlord or through a letting agency. While the majority of the information will also be applicable if you are sharing a property, certain exceptions may apply in some cases.

Checklist before renting

Some important considerations to keep in mind when renting a property include:

Are there any fees being charged by the landlord or letting agent for holding or viewing the property, or setting up the tenancy agreement? Since June 1, 2019, most fees related to tenancies are banned, except for a charge to reserve the property which must be refundable and cannot exceed one week’s rent. More information can be found in the ‘Permitted fees’ section below.

What is the deposit amount?
Since June 1, 2019, there has been a cap on the deposit amount, which depends on the annual rent. The deposit must be refundable at the end of the tenancy and protected during the tenancy.

How long do you want the tenancy for? The minimum tenancy is six months, but it is possible to negotiate a longer tenancy or a tenancy that rolls over on a weekly or monthly basis.

What is your budget?
Consider how much rent you can afford to pay, taking into account your other expenses. You may be entitled to Housing Benefit or Universal Credit to help with rent costs.

Where would you like to live, and how will you look for a rented home? Consider the size of the area you are willing to search in to increase your chances of finding a suitable home.

Do you have all necessary documents? Landlords and agents will likely require proof of identity, immigration status, credit history, and employment status.

Do you have the right to rent in the UK? Landlords in England must check that all tenants aged 18 or over have the right to rent before the tenancy agreement starts. More information on proving your right to rent can be found on GOV.UK.

Will you need a rent guarantee? Some landlords may require someone to guarantee your rent. If you do not have a guarantor, you can seek advice from organisations such as Shelter.

Do you need to make changes to the property? If you have a long-term condition or disability and need to make changes to the property to live independently, discuss this with your landlord or agent.

The following are items that the landlord is required to provide you with:

  • As a tenant, you have the right to certain things from your landlord, including a copy of the ‘How to rent: the checklist for renting in England’ guide either in hard copy or as a PDF attachment via email with your consent.
  • You should also receive a gas safety certificate before moving in, and a copy of the new certificate after every annual gas safety check if there is a gas installation or appliance. The landlord must also protect any deposit you provide in a government-approved scheme within 30 days and give you prescribed information about it.
  • You should ensure you have official information from your landlord and understand how to retrieve your deposit at the end of your tenancy. Additionally, at the start of the tenancy, you should receive an energy performance certificate that shows the energy performance rating of the property you are renting, free of charge. Since April 2020, all privately rented properties must have an energy performance rating of E or above (unless there is a valid exemption) before being let out. You can search online for the energy performance certificate and check its rating.
  • The landlord must also provide a report that shows the condition of the property’s electrical installations, which they must give to the local council if requested. The electrical wiring, sockets, consumer units (fuse boxes), and other fixed electrical parts in rented homes must be inspected and tested every five years, or more frequently if deemed necessary by the inspector, and must meet national electrical safety standards throughout the tenant’s stay.
  • Finally, the landlord must provide evidence that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are in good working order at the start of the tenancy, and tenants must regularly check that they continue to function properly.

If you’re looking for housing in the UK, there are a variety of resources available to help you find the perfect place to live.

Here are some of the best options:

Online listings:

  • Rightmove – This is one of the most popular websites for searching rental properties in the UK. It has a wide range of properties listed from various estate agents and landlords. 
  • Zoopla – Zoopla is another popular platform that lists properties for rent in the UK. It has a user-friendly interface that allows you to filter properties based on various criteria such as location, price, and property type. 
  • SpareRoom – SpareRoom is a website that specialises in flat-sharing and finding roommates. It lists properties that are suitable for people looking for shared accommodation. 
  • OnTheMarket – OnTheMarket is a relatively new platform that has gained popularity among property seekers in the UK. It lists properties from various estate agents and developers.
  • Gumtree – Gumtree is a classified advertisement website that lists properties for rent directly from landlords. It also lists shared accommodation options and allows you to search based on location. 
  • OpenRent – OpenRent is a platform that allows you to rent properties directly from landlords. It also offers a range of services such as online tenancy agreements and rent collection. 

Estate agents: Many people also use estate agents to help them find a rental property. Some popular estate agents in the UK include Foxtons , Savills , and Knight Frank.

Use a reputable letting agent who is a member of a professional organisation, such as the National Association of Estate Agents or the Association of Residential Letting Agents.

Social media groups: Social media platforms like Facebook can also be a great resource for finding rental properties. Many cities and towns have Facebook groups dedicated to housing, where landlords and tenants can post listings and connect with one another.

Some popular options in London include Facebook groups like

In conclusion

Renting a property in the UK can offer a sense of stability and security for immigrants, as they have legal protections against eviction and can renew their lease for long-term stay. This is especially crucial for those facing uncertainties in other areas of their lives, such as employment or immigration status.

Tech professionals and entrepreneurs who relocate to the UK through a tech visa such as the Innovator Founder Visa or Global Talent Visa can benefit from renting property, particularly in UK tech cities. The UK is home to world-renowned research institutions, leading universities, and a diverse and talented pool of tech professionals, making it an attractive destination to advance one’s career or launch new ventures.

Additionally, the UK offers a high quality of life with some of the most dynamic and innovative cities in the world, including London, Manchester, and Edinburgh. These cities boast a vibrant mix of cultural and recreational activities, such as world-class museums, art galleries, theaters, and music venues.

Immigrants can enjoy a superior standard of living in some of the country’s most dynamic and innovative cities, with a wide range of cultural and recreational activities available.

Living in the UK tech hubs offer a thriving environment for growth and development, whether you’re interested in establishing a new business or joining an existing tech company.

To determine if your qualifications and skills meet the requirements for obtaining the UK Innovator Founder Visa or Global Talent Visa , you can take our Pre-Qualified test.

We recommend searching for a property in advance and considering the location. This way, you will have a clear plan for accommodation upon arrival in the UK and know what steps to take next.