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Information, Advice and sources of support for young people in Suffolk

Renting Privately

Explore what you need to know about living alone on The Mix Home Truths.  

On this page we cover the following:

  1. Things to consider
  2. How to find a room
  3. Landlord vs Letting Agency
  4. Paying a deposit
  5. My rights

What you need to consider when moving out:

Where do you want to live?
Do you want to be near family, friends, work or college? 
What are the travel costs if you move further away?
What can you afford? 
Draw up a budget (example: find out approximate rent, gas, electric, water, food, broadband & council tax bills)
What is your income/ how much do you get paid? (Your rent should be 1/3 of your wages or less)
Do you have a guarantor? (An adult who will sign to contract agreeing to pay the rent if for some reason you cannot)

Many private landlords can be reluctant to rent to young people, especially if you will be claiming housing benefit.

Low income and no savings can make it very difficult for young people to afford suitable accommodation. But it is possible with some advice and planning.

You should always register with a GP Surgery in the new area where you will be living. You never know when you’ll need a doctor.

“How do I find a room or flat?”

  • by word of mouth
  • in local newspapers and magazines
  • in shop windows and notice boards
  • through letting agencies and accommodation agencies.
  • through Apps/websites, such as ‘On the market’, Spare room, Zoopla, or GumTree. They allow you to search for accommodation in your area, and based on your budget.

What is the difference between a private landlord or a letting agency?

  • A private landlord is someone you deal with directly. They own the property and manage the contract and the upkeep.
  • A letting agency manages a property for a landlord, drawing up the contract and sometimes managing the upkeep too.
How much do you normally have to pay in advance?

Deposit – Landlords or agencies usually ask for one month’s rent in advance and one month’s rent as a deposit, sometimes more. This is usually paid at the same time as you sign the tenancy agreement. 

Holding deposit – This is a smaller amount of money you pay whilst they make their checks, to secure the property in your name. This money is taken off the rent in advance or deposit.

Compare letting agent/agency fees! Some charge tenants and some don't, so it may be worth shopping around.
What are my rights?

Be sure to read the tenancy agreement to be aware of your rights, check the property for damage and arrange things like insurance cover.

But there are times where something unusual happens and you need extra advice in a situation regarding your housing (such as getting back your tenancy deposit).

The best people to approach are:

  1. Citizens Advice
  2. Home – Shelter England

Other useful websites:

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Page updated on March 8th, 2023 at 04:38pm