How to find a property to rent

Social tenancies

We do not have nearly enough council or housing association tenancies available to meet demand. You may wait up to 15 years for a council or housing association tenancy, even if you have children, or are sick or disabled.

If you need to find accommodation, your best option is to look in the private rented sector.

How to find your new home

Decide where

Work out where you can live. Try and be as flexible as possible as this gives you the best chance of finding a home. Property in Enfield is very expensive. Consider other areas, particularly outside of London.

Set your budget

Work out what you can afford. Use benefits calculators to see what you might be entitled to in benefits and work out your budget using a budgeting tool. If you are going to claim Housing Benefit or the Housing Element of Universal Credit, you need to know how much you will get towards your rent. This is known as Local Housing Allowance and you can find out about what you could be entitled to via the Valuation Office.

Register with estate agents

Register with estate agents in all of the areas where you are looking to rent a property. Make sure they have your contact details and stay in touch with them.

Check online property search websites

Set up alerts on property search websites such as Zoopla, Right Move and On the Market. Remember you can use the internet free of charge in any Enfield library. You can also check on classified advertising websites such as Gumtree.

Viewing property

When you view a property, make sure you have your documents with you. Please be aware that there are fraudsters operating in the rental market. Do not part with money or bank details until you are sure that the tenancy is legitimate. If the property seems very cheap compared to other tenancies, the landlord only wants cash or something else does not seem right, be very careful.

Have your information ready

Make sure that you have the information the landlord needs for you to take the tenancy. They will normally ask for proof of ID, proof of your income and proof of where you live now (a gas, electricity or water utility bill or a Council Tax bill).

Landlords have to check that you are eligible to rent a property in the UK and will need documents as proof. These are known as right to rent checks.

Once you have agreed a new tenancy

You and your landlord both have rights and responsibilities during the tenancy. The Checklist for Renting in England gives some useful information about this.

If you are taking out a Shorthold Tenancy your landlord must keep the property safe and free from health hazards and carry out most repairs. They must also provide you with:

Take a look at the government's how to rent a safe home guide to find out what to do if you identify a problem in the property.

The Tenant Fees Act came into force on 1 June 2019. The aim of the act is to protect tenants from paying high fees to estate agents when they are taking a tenancy.

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