Finding privately rented accommodation

9 easy tips for success!

1. Stay positive

There are affordable, suitable properties out there. It just takes persistence!

2. Know how much rent you can afford

If you are not in employment, the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) entitlement is the maximum amount that you will get from benefits toward your rent.

It is set by the number of bedrooms that you are deemed to need and the area of the property.

Current rates     

If you are looking outside of Cornwall, see the relevant local authority’s website for their LHA rates.

The figures are given weekly, and most properties rents are usually set per calendar month. To change weekly to monthly you simply multiply the weekly figure by 52 and then divide it by 12.

If the property that you find is above your applicable LHA rate, then you will need to make up the ‘shortfall’ of your rent from your other benefits.

Then you will be able to look for properties, knowing how much you can afford.

Speak to an advisor or support worker if you want help finding out the correct rate.

3. Register with lettings agents

Contact lettings agents and leave your details with them, so they can contact you if something suitable for you comes in to them. They may ask you to complete an application form.

Start with the lettings agents that can have cheaper properties such as:

  • Cornwall Housing Private Lets
  • KPM in Camborne
  • Graham Wrights in Liskeard
  • The Accommodation Bureau
  • The Property Shop

Full list of lettings agents and contact details     

4. Keep checking in with these letting agents

Once you have registered, don’t let them forget about you!  Keep calling them regularly to see if they have anything for you or have anything coming up.

5. Use Facebook, Gumtree, Cornwall Live, Zoopla, Rightmove etc.

Keep checking regularly because properties can be put up and go again quickly. Rental property websites.

6. Check local newspapers and shop windows

Sometimes private landlords without an agent advertise directly here. See further down the page for a full list of newspapers to check in.

7. Present yourself well to landlords

Remember to speak politely and think about how you are putting yourself across. Sell your good points as tenants.

8. Consider having your dog looked after

Landlords don’t always accept dogs or make an additional charge. This can be hard as he or she is part of the family but in order to avoid homelessness you may need to make some temporary sacrifices. Can your dog be looked after by a friend/ family/ foster agency?

9. Post your own ‘Wanted ad’ in local shops, post office, and free ads

Be pro-active! Make your own advertisement of yourselves as great tenants that a landlord would be lucky to have.

Paying for Rent in Advance and Deposit

Most private landlords will ask for a month’s rent in advance and a deposit before you can move in. You will need to find a way to pay for this.  

Do you already have a month’s rent ‘in hand’?

If you paid for your current tenancy with a month’s rent in advance, then you may still be ahead with your rent by a month. This is provided you haven’t fallen behind.

Do you have a deposit coming back?

You may be able to get a ‘bridging loan’ to use whilst this deposit is coming through. Any deposit you have paid to your current landlord should be held with a deposit protection scheme.

Financial Assistance information sheet      

You may be eligible for Homelessness Prevention Scheme

Other places to look:

  • Mears - 01637 838 590 - You cannot have any rent arrears owing anywhere and they do not accept pets.
  • Zoopla - You can also use Zoopla text: Put in details of area wanted, amount you can afford and current situation.  Zoopla will then text with details of any landlords who are advertising a property you may be interested in
  • Matched Home - Bespoke UK based housing search hub, designed to connect people with additional support needs to specialist housing providers.
  • CRLA - You will be required to input your property requirements and any landlords with a suitable property will contact you. 
    Please note:  You need to update/renew your details every 6 weeks
  • Coastline Housing customer service@coastlinehousing.co.uk or Tel: 01209 200200
  • Letting Bees - 01840 219100

Ownership/affordable housing to buy:  www.helptobuy.org.uk or 0300 100 0021 for:

  • help to buy equity loan
  • shared ownership
  • affordable rent
  • discounted sale etc

Property search websites:

Local Newspapers as below:

  • New Cornwall Guardian
  • Evening Herald (Plymouth and South East Cornwall areas)
  • Cornish Times
  • Western Morning News
  • West Briton
  • Cornishman

Please note: Cornwall Housing can not be held responsible for the content, control, reliability, effectiveness or accuracy of information on any external websites contained in links within these pages.