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Find a home to rent from a private landlord

Use this page to find out how to find a home to rent from a private landlord, your rights and responsibilities, and how we can help you.

Renting from a private landlord

Social Housing in Bath and North East Somerset is in very short supply. There is also extremely high demand for the limited number of housing association properties that become available.

There are many other properties in the area which are available to rent from a private landlord.

Renting from a private landlord can allow you to choose from a range of property types. You may also have more flexibility on location. Some rental properties also come with furnishings and appliances, such as fridges, freezers and washing machines.

Where to find a property

You can find homes to rent in the following ways:

  • Using websites such as:
  • Searching local letting agencies
  • Checking local newspapers and local noticeboards
  • Searching social media and online local forums
  • Speaking to friends and family
  • Talking to your student's union at your college or university, if you are a student

Your rights and responsibilities

The government has published a guide to your rights and responsibilities when looking for or renting a home from a private landlord.

The guide provides a checklist and more detailed information on each stage of the process, including:

  • what to look out for before renting
  • deposits and other fees
  • tenancy agreements and other paperwork
  • living in a rented home
  • what happens at the end of a tenancy
  • what to do if things go wrong

Read the 'How to rent' guide

Work out what you can afford

When renting privately, you need to work out whether you can afford the rent for a property. You can work out your total income, including employment and benefit entitlement, on the Entitledto website

You will need to pay a security deposit. This is a maximum of 5 weeks' rent, or 6 weeks for an annual rent of more than £50,000. You also need to supply proof of your identity, such as a passport or driver's licence.

Depending on your income and credit history, you may need a guarantor. Guarantors sign a contract agreeing to pay the rent if you can't, or cover damage to the property. A guarantor will usually be a family member or close friend, but they don't have to be.

Housing discrimination

A ‘No DSS’ policy is when an agent or landlord refuses to rent to people who receive Universal Credit, Housing Benefit, disability benefits or tax credits. The Courts have found that 'No DSS' policies are unlawful discrimination.

No DSS policies could include:

  • Refusing to let you view a property
  • Advertising properties as 'no DSS', 'no benefits' or 'working professionals only'

Find out how to challenge DSS discrimination

Get help with private housing

There are many support services available to you, including help with rent payments if you are on a low income. Select a topic below to find out more.

Universal Credit or Housing Benefit

Local Housing Allowance

If you are on a low income, you may be eligible for Universal Credit or Housing Benefit to help you pay your rent.

If you rent your property from a private landlord, the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates will be used to calculate the maximum amount of Housing Benefit that you may be entitled to.

Find out more about the LHA rates

Discretionary Housing Payment

If you are receiving Housing Benefit or Universal Credit that includes housing costs, but are still struggling to meet your rent payments, you may be eligible for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP).

Find out more about the Discretionary Housing Payment

Homelessness support

If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness, we may be able to help you through our Homefinders Scheme.

We can provide assistance with rent and deposits through an interest-free loan. As the loans are interest-free, you will only have to pay back what you borrow.

We administer Homefinder with Great Western Credit Union. We collect payments in affordable instalments, so you do not need to worry that you cannot afford to repay the loan.

For more information, please contact the team by phone on 01225 396296

Other home-finding support

Home Turf Lettings

If you are a single individual or are a family on a low income or Universal Credit, Home Turf Lettings can help you find safe and affordable private rented accommodation in Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and Bristol.

Contact Home Turf Lettings

Weekly private rented advice drop-ins

We hold weekly private rented advice drop-in sessions in Bath and Keynsham.

Private rented advice sessions
Day Location Time
Tuesday Bath One-Stop Shop (by appointment) 9.30am to 12pm
Thursday AM Keynsham Library (drop-in) 9.30am to 12pm
Thursday PM Keynsham Library (drop-in) 1.30pm to 4pm

Tuesday sessions are by appointment only. Appointments last up to half an hour. To book an appointment, call 01225 396296 or email