Finding private rented accommodation

High demand for accommodation locally means that suitable, affordable properties are in short supply. Here are some suggestions to help you search if you want to rent privately.

Local adverts

Most local newspapers have a section advertising properties to rent or share. Some will be from letting agencies and some from private landlords.

Check notice boards in supermarkets and newsagents as these often have adverts for rooms or properties to rent. They are more likely to be put there by landlords rather than by letting agents.

Internet searches

Many landlords and letting agencies advertise on the internet. Please see the 'related links' opposite for websites which advertise house shares and homes to rent.

Never pay any money without seeing the property first. If you arrange to view a property, take someone with you if you can. We can accept no liability for accommodation found through any of these sites.

Advertise that you need a place to rent

You could advertise on websites such as Spareroom or Gumtree. Describe the type of place you want, where you'd like to live and how much rent you can afford.

If you use Facebook or Twitter, let your contacts know you need accommodation to rent. Some shops will let you put an advert on their noticeboard. Some of these are free while others may charge. Ask your friends, family and contacts if they know anyone who is renting out accommodation.

Letting agents

Letting agents can help you find a property. You will have to pay agency fees if they find you somewhere.

Most letting agents advertise properties in local newspapers, on websites and have high street offices.

You usually need to register with a letting agency before they offer you a property, but it's illegal for letting agencies to charge you a fee for registering or showing you its list of available properties. All letting agencies in England must display their fees in all of their advertisements.

All letting agents must also be members of a 'letting agent redress scheme' to sort out your complaints and disputes with them.

Typically, in order to secure a privately rented property, a letting agent will require:

A one bedroom flat in Towcester, for example, could cost you more than £1,000 in advance.

Help with rent and deposit costs

Landlords and letting agents have different approaches. Some are more flexible than others with reference / guarantor fees and deposit levels. Try negotiating a rent reduction with the agent or landlord, particularly if a property has been on the market for some time.

If you need to claim Local Housing Allowance (LHA) to cover the rent on a property, contact the Housing Options Team for guidance on the level of payment you might expect as this varies across our district.

If you need help to cover the cost of a deposit or 'Rent In Advance', we may be able to help you through our Deposit Guarantee Scheme. Contact the Housing Options Team if you need advice about this.

Tenancies and housing conditions

Advice on private tenants' rights, landlords' obligations and information about housing conditions can be found on our Advice to Private Tenants page.

Contact details

Housing Options Team
Email this service
01327 322374

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