There are various types of private rented accommodation available in Northampton. This will include self contained houses or flats, or parts of houses or flats shared with other people or the landlord.
If you are looking to rent privately in your local area there are a number of ways you can find out what is available:
- look in local papers or online
- look in shop windows
- visit accommodation agencies and estate agents
- through personal contacts or word of mouth
When you are looking for a suitable property there are a number of things to bear in mind:
Availability- If you have the means to pay there is wide variety of property available to rent in Northampton.
Quality- There is some good quality housing but at the cheaper end of the market the accommodation may be in less good condition and poorer quality.
Cost- Private rented accommodation tends to be more expensive than other rented housing and landlords will charge whatever they think the market will support. If you are out of work on on low income Housing Benefit or Local Housing Allowance is available to help with the cost. Please note however that single people under 35 can only claim for the cost of a reasonable market rent payable on a single room in a shared house.
Security of tenure
Private renting is generally easier to find and move into but it is also easier for the landlord to get you out. Lettings are usually restricted to periods of 6 or 12 months that have to be renewed.
Many landlords use an agency to advertise and sometimes manage their properties. They can be useful as a lot of property details can be seen in one place and if the agent provides easy access to the landlord. It is illegal for accommodation agencies to charge for simply registering you or giving you a list of properties. However they can charge you a fee for finding a property and for other services such as drawing up a tenancy agreement.
Most agencies require references from a previous landlord and/or employer.
When you have found a possible place to live contact the landlord or agent and arrange to view the property.