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Finding privately rented accommodation

8 easy steps to success


1. Stay positive

There are affordable, suitable properties out there for you. Being successful takes persistence.

2. Know how much rent you can afford

Know the Local Housing Allowance rate that applies to you

If you are not working, the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) level is the most that you will get from benefits toward your rent.

It is set by the number of bedrooms that you need and the area of the property.

The figures given are weekly, but most rents are usually set by calendar month. To change the figure from weekly to monthly:

  • multiply the weekly figure by 52
  • then divide it by 12.

Then you will be able to look for properties, knowing how much you can afford. Speak to an advisor or support worker if you want help finding out the correct rate.

What if the rent is more than the LHA rate that applies to you?

You will need to make up the ‘shortfall’ of your rent from your other benefits.

3. Register with lettings agents

Contact lettings agents and leave your details with them. Ask them to contact you if something suitable comes into them. They may ask you to complete an application form.

Start with the lettings agents that can affordable properties such as:

4. Keep checking in with the letting agents

Once you have registered, don’t let them forget about you! Keep calling them regularly to see if they have anything for you or have anything coming up.

5. Search online

Places to look include:

Keep checking regularly because properties can be put up and go again quickly.

6. Check local newspapers and shop windows

Sometimes private landlords without an agent advertise directly in these.

7. Present yourself well to landlords

Remember to speak politely and think about how you are putting yourself across. Sell your good points as tenants.

8. Consider having your dog looked after

This will be a last resort for most families, but landlords don’t always accept dogs.

Maybe your furry friend can be looked after temporarily by a friend or family member ?

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