Finding somewhere to live

Private sector renting

The easiest way to find a new place to live can often be to rent somewhere from a private landlord. Most landlords will sign a contract with you before you move in, will ensure that your property is properly maintained and that necessary repairs are carried, and will respect your rights as a tenant.

However there are always a few landlords who will not keep their part of the bargain, do not respect tenancy agreements, and are to be avoided. In order to help you ensure that you get a good deal, and that you find the right place for you.

Sutton council has a responsibility to ensure privately rented properties are safe and fit in live in. As part of this duty it has legal powers to make sure both landlords and tenants behave in the correct manner so these standards are met.

Shelter provides advice on how to find a privately-rented home and what to look out for along the way.

Where to find privately rented accommodation
You can find accommodation to rent, including rooms in shared houses, through services such as Gumtree, SpareRoom, Loot, Zoopla or Propertywide.

Most local papers will include adverts for properties to rent, and you can contact estate agents and property agents in your area.

You can also look at noticeboards in shop windows in the area you want to live in. If you see an advert with the words "No DSS", this means that the landlord is not willing to take a tenant claiming benefits.

Paying for privately rented accommodation
Depending on your financial situation you may be able to claim housing benefit towards the cost of your rent. However you should be aware that some landlords may not rent out accommodation to tenants who will be relying on housing benefit to pay their rent.