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    A complete guide to renting a home

    Let's find you a great rental home. Here's everything you need to know about renting, from working out what you can afford to finding the perfect place and living in your rental home.

    The latest on renting a home

    All the news, tips and guides you need to rent a house or flat.

    • A third of homes for sale are cheaper to buy than rent, with the average first-time buyer saving £93 a month on a mortgage instead of renting.

    • Affordable housing offers a subsidised route to home ownership through government schemes, or subsidised rents for people on low incomes.

    • Right to Buy is a government scheme that offers council and housing association tenants help to buy the home they are renting. 

    • The average rent in London is now £2,121 per month after +4.2% growth in the last year. The cheapest average rent is in Bexley (£1,520) and the highest average rent is in Kensington and Chelsea (£3,459), although rental increases are slowing in the most expensive parts of the city.

    • The average rent in the UK is now £1,223 per month after 7.2% growth in the last year. The highest average rent in the UK is in London (£2,121) while the North East has the lowest monthly rent (£695).

    • The average UK rent is now £1,223 after a +7.8% rise in the last year. Rents for new lets will rise more slowly this year, but only a major supply boost will help with rental affordability.

    Our experts answer your questions about renting a home

    What are the steps to renting a property?

    1. Firstly, you'll need to work out your budget for rent. That also includes the bills you’ll be responsible for as a renter.

    2. Be clear on what you're looking for in your next property. Have questions to ask at the viewing; our rental viewing checklist will help.

    3. Prepare your documents (such as references and identification) to get ahead of the competition.

    Nic Hopkirk

    Senior Editor

    What do you need to rent a house?

    To rent a house you'll need to provide character references from your current landlord and employer. You'll also need to prove your income by providing payslips and bank statements.

    The letting agent will run a credit check on you to understand if you can afford to pay the rent and if you're likely to pay it on time.

    Learn more about the references and checks to rent a home

    Ellie Isaac

    Senior Editor

    Where are the cheapest places to rent?

    The North East is the cheapest region to rent a home in the UK. Average rents here are £671 per month.

    Northern IrelandScotland and Yorkshire and the Humber all sit at the cheaper end of the scale too, with rents averaging less than £800 per month.

    Find out the cheapest places to rent in the UK

    Izabella Lubowiecka

    Senior Property Researcher

    What is a tenancy agreement?

    A tenancy agreement or Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST) is the standard contract for the vast majority of rental properties.

    This type of agreement comes with various protections, including for your rental deposit. Make sure you know what to watch out for in your rental agreement before signing it.

    Nic Hopkirk

    Senior Editor