Finding somewhere to live

Finding somewhere to live

Many landlords and letting agencies advertise properties to rent online, but you can also speak to estate agents in-person to help you find a property. 

A lot of the following websites will be able to help find cheaper places for you to rent:

TOP TIP: When searching for properties, make sure you use the filters ‘DSS’, ‘Universal Credit’ or ‘Housing Benefit’ to help you find landlords who accept tenants on benefits.

Affordability

You can apply for housing benefit to help pay your rent. Your eligibility and amount of money you can receive will depend on your income and your status in the UK.

You should know whether you can afford a property before you view it. The London Rent Map and Affordability Calculator are useful resources to help you calculate your budget, and what rent you can afford at your current income.

Housing benefit discrimination is unlawful and estate agents cannot legally refuse you a tenancy because you receive benefits. If a landlord refuses to accept housing benefit, then you can contact Greenwich Housing Rights on 020 8854 8848 or email general@GRHR.co.uk for further advice.

Please read the government’s How to Rent Guide in full before signing up for any tenancy.

You should also consider the following:

  • Is the landlord or letting agent trying to charge any fees?
  • How much is the deposit?
  • Do you have your documents ready?
  • Will you need a rent guarantor?

When you’ve found a property, please check the following:

  • Whether you’ve been provided with a tenancy agreement – carefully read this before signing it
  • Agree to an inventory with your landlord and take photos of the property to prevent any dispute at the end of the tenancy
  • Take meter readings to avoid paying previous tenants’ bills
  • Ensure that you have the correct contact details for the landlord or agent, including a telephone number, in case of emergency
  • Ask whether your landlord has signed a code of practice

For further information, look at Shelter’s website which covers everything from finding a home with a private landlord, paying rent and other costs, rental agreements, problems during a tenancy and what to do when you leave.

The Council’s Duty

We are required to secure suitable accommodation for homeless applicants who are eligible for assistance, in priority need, and are not intentionally homeless. The suitability of accommodation is dependent on the need of the household for whom property is being secured.

To help you with your housing difficulties we can find you suitable private rented accommodation. We will work with you to find accommodation that is suitable for the needs of your household.

If you decline a final offer of suitable private rented accommodation, then we will discharge our duty to rehouse you. This means that we no longer have to assist you with accommodation and you will have to find your own. If you are in our temporary accommodation, you will be asked to leave and make your own arrangements and any rehousing priority will be removed.