When looking for a place to stay in the private rented sector, you’ll find all types of properties from flats, houses, shared accommodation, bedsits and rooms rented out in the landlord's house.
Try and find out how much the average rent in that area is for the kind of property you’re interested in. Add in other housing costs like council tax and utilities to give you your budget.
Ask your current landlord or employer for a written reference in case a landlord asks for one.
You should be able to find out how much the rent and deposit is from the property advert. Here are the things to ask:
Remember, the landlord or their letting agent is not allowed to charge a fee to:
Check the accessibility of the property – you may already know it’s a ground floor flat but do ask if there are features you need, like handrails or a walk-in shower. It might save you time viewing.
Ask if the property is insured. The landlord needs to have building and contents insurance for their own property. You will need to arrange your own insurance for your belongings.
Check the landlord is registered with the council. It doesn’t matter if the people advertising the accommodation are a letting agent – it will be the landlord who needs to be registered. Not all landlords need to be registered but most do. Sometimes the letting agent may be the landlord as well.
When a property is advertised, the landlord has to include their registration number in all adverts.
If the property will be used as an HMO (house in multiple occupation) by yourselves, you should check it’s got an HMO license. This will apply if three or more unrelated adults are living together.
They also need to tell you in the advert what the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating is – this lets you know how energy efficient the property is, so it can help you estimate your fuel bills better.
When walking to the property, have a look at the surrounding area.
When viewing the property look or ask about the following.
If things need repairing, check the Getting repairs done guide.
Tell someone where you’re going and let them know you’re back safely. Take someone with you – for your safety and it’s always good to get a second opinion.