- How we can help
- Your rights if homeless
- Housing advice for people affected by domestic abuse
- Housing advice for care leavers
- Housing advice for armed forces veterans
- Housing advice after being released from prison
- Housing advice for people with mental illness or impairment
- Housing advice after being discharged from hospital
- Facing eviction or having problems with a landlord?
- Finding private rented accommodation
- Duty to refer
- Advice for rough sleepers
Finding private rented accommodation
Due to a severe shortage of council and social housing accommodation, the quickest solution to your housing problem can often be finding private rented accommodation.
You can search for private rented accommodation via estate agents, letting agents and private landlords, and we can offer you advice and support.
When looking for a home, it's important to consider the following:
- can you afford the rent and household bills? If you're unsure, speak to your case officer
- can you sign a minimum six-month tenancy agreement to rent the property?
- does the property have the correct number of bedrooms for your family, taking into consideration the guidelines on children sharing?
How we can help
If you've found a suitable property and the estate agency, letting agency or private landlord considers you a suitable tenant, bring the property details to your case officer (when applicable) so we can make sure it's the right property for you.
We'll carry out an income and expenditure assessment with you to make sure you can afford to live in the property. DO NOT sign a tenancy agreement or pay any fees until you have discussed the property's suitability with your case officer (where applicable).
If you're homeless or at risk of becoming homeless within the next 56 days, we may be able to offer you financial support to help you find suitable private rented accommodation.
You can check online what benefits you're eligible to claim.
If you're entitled to benefits to help pay your rent, make sure you take into account the Local Housing Allowance - the maximum allowance paid to claimants to pay rent.
The allowance rarely covers all of your rent in the private accommodation, so you'll need to pay the difference between the Local Housing Allowance and your monthly rent.
If you're working, it may affect your entitlement to benefits.
Depending on your circumstances, we may be able to offer you financial support.
When you pay your landlord a deposit for your tenancy in private rented accommodation, your landlord has a legal duty to protect your deposit of you have an assured shorthold tenancy.
You can check the type of tenancy you have on Shelter's website.
Your estate agent, letting agent or landlord should tell you which scheme your deposit has been protected by.
For more information on deposit protection schemes, visit Shelter's website.
Need more help?
If you need to discuss your circumstances with us in more detail, please register us on Housing Jigsaw, our online housing portal.