Finding a property

When you’re looking to rent a home from a private landlord there are several places you can look. Places to try include

  • Websites such as Rightmove, Gumtree and Zoopla;
  • Estate agents who have a section that deals with private lettings and properties;
  • Letting agents who manage properties for private landlords;
  • Lettings boards in the area where you want to live;
  • Adverts in local newspapers or shop windows;
  • Asking friends and family who rent from a private landlord;
  • Noticeboards at work, college or university.

The Private Rented Service Newcastle could also help as we advertise houses for rent and provide general advice on renting in the private sector.

Estate Agents and Letting

You may want to go through an estate agent or lettings agent when you want to find a place to live. They can offer you several helpful services that can assist you when you want to find a new home and will have a large selection of properties to help you find a property that is right for you.

Landlords and agents can no longer ask tenants to pay a fee for things such as setting up or renewing a tenancy.   They can only ask for a tenant to pay for certain things such as:

  • rent
  • a refundable tenancy deposit capped at no more than 5 weeks’ rent where the total annual rent is less than £50,000, or 6 weeks’ rent where the total annual rent is £50,000 or above
  • a refundable holding deposit (to reserve a property) capped at no more than 1 week’s rent, if you are successful in getting the tenancy this is usually taken off the first month’s rent

Viewing a property

Always view a property before signing a Tenancy Agreement.  Viewing a house can be exciting and it can be easy to overlook something or forget to ask important questions.

You should try to see lots of properties in the area where you want to live so you can see what is available before making a decision.  You should also think about:

  • Making a list of things you are looking for in a home to take with you. For example do you need a downstairs toilet or off street parking;
  • Taking a friend or family member with you. It’s good to get a second opinion and safer than going on your own;
  • Try to view the property in daylight as it’s easier to see faults or things that need repairing;
  • Try to go early to check out the location, local shops, bus routes and other facilities;
  • Take a list of questions that you want to ask;

If you aren’t sure if the property is what you’re looking for take some time to think about it…

Furnished or unfurnished

Before you start looking you should decide if you want to rent a furnished or an unfurnished property.  Check with the landlord what is included as there is no standard definition of furnished and unfurnished for example:

Unfurnished properties are usually slightly cheaper.  Although no furniture is provided carpets and curtains are often supplied.

Part furnished properties will generally include carpets and curtains and some white goods such as fridge or cooker.  This can be a good option if you already have some furniture.

Furnished properties do not always have the same furniture.  Generally it will include carpets, curtains, beds and wardrobes, table and chairs, a cooker, and a fridge.

Remember that if someone is living in the property when you view it some of the furniture may belong to them so make sure to check.