The following information may help you to find and secure private rented accommodation.
How to find homes that are available for rent
Many Landlords and Letting Agents advertise their properties on the internet. Below are some of the popular websites that landlords use to advertise their properties:
Most of these websites have a search facility that you can use to find a property with the number of bedrooms you need in the area you want to live in. You may be able to set up e-mail alerts so that you are notified when any new properties are advertised.
If you do not have access to the internet at home you can use the Self Help Screens located in the Customer Services area at the Charnwood Borough Council offices. You should be able to use the internet for free in your local library.
Ask a friend
Ask your family, friends and colleagues if they know of any properties that are available to rent or know any landlords you can contact.
Ask your family, friends and colleagues if they have a spare room that you can rent. The government’s ‘Rent a room scheme’ allows owner-occupiers and some renters to earn up to £7,500 tax free each year.
Ask your family, friends and colleagues if they have any properties that you can rent.
Check local newspapers, community centres and shops
It is always worth checking local newspapers as some have sections advertising houses or flats to rent or share. You can also check local community centres, libraries, supermarkets and newsagents. Some advertise properties on noticeboards or in the window.
Advertise that you need a place to rent
You could advertise that you're looking for a place to rent. In your advert, describe the type of place you want, where you'd like to live and how much rent you can afford.
Local community centres, libraries, supermarkets and newsagents might let you put an advert on their noticeboard or in their window. You may want to consider putting an advert on a reputable website such as Spareroom.
When you are looking for private rented accommodation, you will need to consider whether you will be able to pay the rent. If you are claiming benefits or have a low income, we recommend that you look for a property where the rent is close to the Local Housing Allowance Rate.
Below is a list of the current Local Housing Allowance rates for Charnwood.
- Shared Room* - £61.38 per week / £265.98 per calendar month
- 1 Bedroom - £86.30 per week / £373.96 per calendar month
- 2 Bedroom - £109.32 per week / £473.72 per calendar month
- 3 Bedroom - £126.58 per week / £548.51 per calendar month
- 4 or more Bedrooms - £163.16 per week / £707.02 per calendar month
More information about the Local Housing Allowance rates for Charnwood is available at: https://www.charnwood.gov.uk/pages/localhousingallowance.
Viewing the property
When you find a property you should arrange to view it. Before you go to view a property you might want to make a list of questions or a checklist, so that you can make sure the property will meet your needs.
You may want to take a family member or a friend with you to the viewing. If you are going to view the property on your own, you should tell a family member or friend where you are going.
View the property inside and outside. Does it feel safe and secure? Does it have all the space you require?
Ask how much the rental charge and deposit will be and when the rent payments will be due.
If you are renting a property through a Lettings Agents they may charge you extra fees. Ask if there are any extra fees.
Providing information and documents
When you find a place to rent you'll be asked to provide information and documents to prove your identity and prove you have the right to live in the UK.
You may be asked to provide:
- recent bank statements
- your employment contract
- your pay slips or your accounts if you work for yourself
- proof of benefit awards.
Lettings Agents often complete reference checks. This is to see whether you will be a reliable tenant and if you can afford to pay the rent. They may check your previous credit history or ask for references from previous landlords.
In some cases you may be asked if you have a guarantor. A guarantor is normally a family member or friend who signs a document agreeing to pay the rent or cover damage to the property if you don't pay it. Guarantors will usually need to be UK residentswho are in employment.
You may be asked to pay a deposit before signing a tenancy agreement. Some Landlords or Lettings Agents may accept cash payments and others may accept card payments. It is good idea to check with the Landlord and Letting Agent of their preference before the sign up to avoid any delays.
Clockwise Credit Union may be able to provide you with a low interest loan that you can use for a deposit. You can apply online at www.clockwise.coop/loans, by telephone on 0116 2423900 or by visiting a local branch. The opening times for Leicester Branch, 1 St Nicholas Place, Leicester, LE1 5LB are:
- Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9.30am to 4pm, Wednesday 10am to 4pm
Clockwise Credit Union hold a Community Access service at the Charnwood Borough Council Offices every Monday from 10:00am to 12:30pm.
If you receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit from Charnwood Borough Council, you may be able to apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment for help with a deposit.
Signing a Tenancy
Most private tenants will be asked to sign an assured shorthold tenancy.
Make sure you read and understand the tenancy agreement and that you know your rights and responsibilities as a Tenant and the responsibilities of your Landlord before signing the document. It should tell you what type of tenancy you have and how to end or renew your tenancy.
What the Landlord or Letting Agent must provide you with
Your Landlord or Letting Agent should provide you with the following:
- A copy of the How to rent: the checklist for renting in England’
- A gas safety certificate - The landlord must provide one at the start of the tenancy and within 28 days of each annual gas safety check, if there is a gas installation in the property
- Deposit paperwork - If you have provided a deposit, the landlord must protect it in a government approved scheme within 30 days and provide you with prescribed information about it. Make sure you get the official information from your landlord and that you understand how to apply to get the deposit back at the end of the tenancy. Keep this information safe as you will need it later
- The Energy Performance Certificate - This will affect your energy bills and the landlord must provide one (except for Houses in Multiple Occupation). From April 2018 most private rented priorities will need to achieve a minimum EPC band ‘E’ rating before they can be let.
CBC Lettings is a new service that has been set-up to help people who may have difficulty finding accommodation in the Private Rental Sector.
If you are at risk of becoming homeless and you have a local connection to the Charnwood area, CBC Lettings may be able to help you to find a suitable and affordable property and help you to obtain a deposit and rent in advance payment.
Last updated: Wed 20th March, 2019 @ 11:20