Finding a property

Finding a property in South Cambridgeshire's private rented housing market

Rented accommodation comes in different types:

  • Bed-sits
  • flats
  • houses
  • shared flats/houses 

In some cases the house or flat may be:

  • Shared with the landlord (resident landlord). 
  • managed by a letting agent or managing agent. 

Private rented properties are either furnished or unfurnished and rents vary accordingly.

Work out your housing need

It's essential that you choose accommodation that you need rather than what you necessarily want. This is especially the case for people who will be relying on housing benefit under the Local Housing Allowance to pay their rent.

When deciding what housing you need, you should consider:

  • Property type - studio/bedsit, house, flat or maisonette. You also need to decide what floor accommodation you would accept for example, ground floor or first floor.
  • Property size - see LHA bedroom rates for further details.

If a property has more bedrooms than housing benefit think you need, your benefit is likely to be reduced.

Where to look for property

Once you have decided on your housing need you can begin to look for properties. There are a number of ways to do this:

  • Local newspapers - have a look in the special sections of local newspapers advertising accommodation to let.
  • other ideas - local shop windows, community noticeboards, supermarket noticeboards or anywhere where people may advertise. Landlords will often advertise here.
  • letting agents - letting agents manage properties on behalf of private landlords so that the landlord does not have to deal directly with their tenant
  • property search sites - Such as Rightmove and Zoopla, include rental properties that landlords often advertise their properties on.

What to do when you think you have found a property

View the property - Make sure you go and have a look at a property before you sign any forms to say that you will take it. What may sound perfect may be completely different when you actually view it. 

If you have any concerns, you are not obliged to take it, especially if you haven't signed anything, and you can refuse it and start looking again.

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