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Rent a home

Information about renting privately.

There are many advantages to private renting – you get choice over where you live and the type of property in which you live. For example:

  • shared with others

  • lodgings/room

  • bedsit

  • self-contained (your own place).

See the gov.uk: guide to private renting or the information provided by Shelter: types of renting agreement

Rented flats, houses and rooms are advertised by estate agents and private owners in local newspapers, Loot, online and on advertisement cards in newsagents' windows and supermarket notice boards.

The National Association of Estate Agents can provide details of its members. Members are qualified, which means you are dealing with professional agents who aim to achieve and maintain the highest standards. Visit www.naea.co.uk or call 0844 387 0555. NAEA deal with estate agents.

Letting agents have other voluntary accreditation bodies such as ARLA, RLA, but from October 2014 all letting agents must join one of three governing bodies:

  • The Property Ombudsman

  • The Ombudsman Services

  • The Ombudsman Services Property

  • The Property Redress Scheme

It is an offence for an agent not to belong to one of these schemes and complaints can be registered with the scheme who can mediate and award compensation. Other websites to find a rented house, flat or room include:

Financial help with renting

This is an interest-free loan from the Social Fund that you must pay back. It can be used for ‘rent in advance’ payments but not rent deposits.

Local support scheme

Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for a loan and/or a grant.

Local Housing Allowance

If you are on a low income or in receipt of benefits, you will need to claim the housing benefit to help you pay your rent.

Renting advice for single people

There is a chronic shortage of affordable housing in Lewisham and due to the level of demand, we are not able to offer a social housing property to everyone who wants one. The below guide will help you find alternative forms of accommodation.