I’m thinking of renting from a private landlord, what do I need to know and how is this different from getting a council house?
Renting in the private sector generally offers a lot more choice and freedom compare with renting a council house.
One of the main differences when renting from a private landlord is the security of tenure. If you rent a council house after the first year if you do not do anything that would be considered a breach of tenancy the landlord cannot ask you to leave. If you rent from a private landlord a landlord can serve notice to ask you to leave even if you have been a perfect tenant.
The Private Rented Service may be able to help with a deposit through its Rent Deposit Guarantee Scheme if you meet the criteria.
If you are on benefits or a low income you may be entitled to help with money towards your rent. Whether you are working or claiming out of work benefits you might be entitled to claim Local Housing Allowance or Housing Element in your Universal Credit claim.
You should contact your local Housing Benefit office (or Job Centre if you are on Universal Credit) for more information.
You will need to provide proof of your rent and in most cases the money will be paid to you and you will need to arrange to pay your landlord.
If you receive some benefits the method and frequency of these payments will change when you are migrated onto Universal Credit.
Rather than receiving a number of different payments from different departments on a weekly or fortnightly basis you will receive one monthly payment.
You can find out more in our Tenant’s Handbook.
The Newcastle Housing Accreditation Scheme is a nationally recognised scheme that sets out standards relating to both the property and management skills of a landlord.
As a tenant you will be able to recognize landlords who have demonstrated their professionalism and this will help you when choosing a place to live. Look out for our Accreditation logo on property adverts or go to our Accreditation pages to see if a property is Accredited.