Many people decide that they would prefer to rent through a private landlord, because they are fed up of paying the costly letting agent fees, which were costing the average tenant between £223 – £500 in 2016. Another reason that people prefer to rent through a private landlord, is because they often don’t request a credit check from their tenants as a part of the application process.
In 2015 the number of properties UK’s private rented sector was 5.4 million households and this figure is only set to grow further over the coming years as the property industry has seen a huge move towards renters using them. This is partly due to the result of housing policies dating back to the 1980’s and the shortage of stock available due to the housing crisis. Buy-to-let investment landlords have helped to fill a gap in the property market over the last 25 years, offering renters more choice and a better standard of properties on offer.
However, as they don’t advertise their properties through a letting agent and do this privately, how do you find them?
We have detailed below the best ways for you to find private rented accommodation, so you can take the stress out of finding a new home.
There are so many websites that house a list of private landlords to list their properties online, such as openrent.co.uk, easyroommate.com, spareroom.com, gumtree.com and landlorddirect.com. However, you need to be wary for fraudsters posting fake listings, with the rise in online rental fraud increasing in 2016, it’s very important to make sure your landlord’s property listing is legitimate.
TheHouseShop.com, are the UK’s No.1 property marketplace, that pulls together thousands of private landlord listings from all over the web and house them all in one convenient place, making the task of finding one that much easier for you. TheHouseShop.com are also industry leaders in implementing tools to weed out the online rental scammers, as the private landlords must pass Land Registry verification checks before they are allowed to list a property on our website. This protects our customers so that they can rest assured that their money and tenancy are in safe hands.
Your Local Council
Every council has a dedicated page on their website to help guide their residents on finding local private accommodation, with a special emphasis on renting privately if you are receiving DSS and other benefits. Many also offer advice about the whole process from start to finish, such as searching for a home in the local area, how to navigate the interview process and negotiating the amount of the deposit and rent to pay in advance. Councils also have a duty of care to their residents and they provide information on tenants rights and the legalities involved in renting directly through a private landlord, should things go awry.
If you are on housing benefits, then you will know how hard it is to find private landlords that will also accept DSS payments alongside the rent. The best site to use for finding a private landlord that will accept DSS is DSSmove.co.uk, as private landlords have the option to list their properties here as well as the other main property classifieds websites.
Another method private landlords use to advertise their properties, is publishing in the classifieds section of their local newspapers and magazines. Although the rise of online listings websites have become increasingly popular, you can still find some properties listed the ‘old fashioned’ way.
Shop Windows and Community Post Boards
An often over-looked space where private landlords choose to advertise, but it’s definitely worth taking a look at community notice boards and local shop windows for property listings. You can always put up a wanted ad in a shop window or on your local community board, saying a little about yourself and what kind of property you are looking for and a way people can get in contact with you.
If you are a student and would prefer to rent your accommodation through a private landlord, often they will advise you on finding a respectable and verified private landlord in your city. The benefit of this, is that they would have been used from previous students and would have weeded out any that have caused problems in the past.
Word of Mouth
Sometimes the best way to find a property through a private landlord is by word of mouth. Often these can be recommendations through a colleague, friend, family member or even if you make a post on your social media platforms such as Facebook or Google+, you never know who in your social network may need to rent out a spare room or property, so it’s always worth trying this avenue too. As the saying goes, if you don’t ask, you won’t get.