Renting in the Private Rented Sector
If you are thinking of renting in the private sector there are a number of places you can find private rented accommodation:
- Worcester News Property Page (The property page is in the Worcester News on a Thursday)
- Local Letting Agents
- Zoopla - Website
- Right Move - Website
- PropertyWide -Website
Property Choice & Standards
You should make sure the property is in the area you want to be. You do not have to accept the first property you see as there is always a large selection of properties in the private sector. Make sure it is suitable for you in regards to schools, work etc as again, if you have difficulties later on in the tenancy, you will be liable for the length of that tenancy.
If you find a property you are interested in renting you should arrange to view the property first to ensure the property is to a safe, decent standard for you and your household (please see section on Repairs)
Gas Safety & Energy Performance Certificate
You should also ask to be provided with a valid, up to date gas certificate and an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) before you consider moving into the property. Your landlord is obligated to provide these so do not hesitate to ask for them if they are not provided to you before you move in or sign the tenancy agreement.
You should make sure that the property you are thinking of letting is affordable for you. Remember that it is not only rent that you will have to pay each month. You will be liable for the household costs such as electricity, water and Council Tax, and you should take these into account before committing to any property. Once you have signed a tenancy agreement, you are liable for the rent for the length of the tenancy (for a budgeting sheet (View budgeting sheet).
If you are in receipt of benefits or a low income, you may be entitled to help with you rent. If you are unsure whether you may be entitled to help you may wish to consider completing a calculation with the online HB Calculator or for further information please visit the I Have Been Asked To Leave page.
There are normally costs associated with renting a property in the private sector. Most landlords will require a deposit from the tenant (normally the equivalent of one months rent). Some landlords may also require a month rent in advance. Letting agents will also require agency fees and these fees can vary depending on what agency you use.
If you pay a cash deposit to a landlord, by law, the landlord must register the deposit with the deposit protection scheme. This is to ensure that any dispute regarding the deposit at the end of the tenancy is decided fairly by an independent party.
The landlord must provide you with evidence that they have registered the deposit within 14 days of taking it from you. Should you require further information on what action to take should you not receive this from your landlord, please contact the Housing Advice Team.
Always make sure you are provided with a receipt from the landlord or agent for any money you pay to them. Find out on how your deposit is protected.
If you are renting an entire property the landlord must issue you with an Assured Shorthold Tenancy and this must be for a minimum period of 6 months. If you sign any tenancy agreement do not accept anything less than a 6 month period, if your landlord tries to issue you with a tenancy less than this you will both still be obligated for 6 months regardless.
If after the initial 6 months your landlord does not issue you with a further tenancy agreement, you will become a periodic tenant which means the tenancy will continue on a month to month basis. You and the landlord are still entitled to the same rights as described in your original tenancy agreement.
Before you enter any tenancy agreement, you should be aware of how you or the landlord can end the tenancy lawfully. This will be stipulated in your tenancy agreement but, if you have been asked to leave by the landlord you should be aware that, with an assured shorthold tenancy, you are entitled to 2 full calendar months notice.
Please Note: You should contact the Housing Advice Team should you need any further advice.
- Help With Renting In The Private Sector - Leaflet
- Homestamp Renting Privately - Guide
- Homestamp Renting Privately - Checklist
- Crisis Private Rented Sector - Website
I can't afford the Private Rented Sector
When moving into a privately rented property, you may find that the landlord will require a deposit prior to you moving in. Many families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless would like to find accommodation in the private rented sector but are often unable to because of the high costs associated with starting up a tenancy. If you are a family in this position, then the Council may be able to help you through our Rent Deposit Guarantee Bond(RDGB) for families.
The Rent Deposit Guarantee Bond means that you do not have to pay a cash deposit when moving into a private rented property. Instead, Worcester City Council will provide the Landlord with a written agreement equivalent of up to 1 month's rent and lasting for the initial tenancy period. We can also help by advising you on the tenancy agreement, your Housing Benefit entitlement or any other issues you may be faced with.
Worcester City Council ensure that all the properties let via the Local Lettings Agency and Rent Deposit Guarantee Bond are safe and up to standard.
In order to be eligible you must:
- Have a local connection with Worcester
- Be homeless or at the risk of being homeless
- Have savings of less than £1,000
- Not own your own home
- Not have a secure tenancy elsewhere
In order to establish whether you are entitled to assistance with a Deposit you should contact the Housing Advice Team for further advice.