Renting Privately

Privately rented accommodation provides solutions for people with a variety of housing needs. Whether you are a tenant or a landlord, the Council can help match suitable properties with potential tenants.

Looking to rent privately?

When searching you need to decide what type of property you need and can afford to pay a monthly rent on and how much deposit you will need to pay at the start of the tenancy.

When privately renting a room or a flat/house, you may be required to provide a deposit and pay a month's rent in advance. You can view current vacancies using the local press, local estate agents or any property website.

Local Rents

Average monthly rents in the district can vary according to the size and type of property you are interested in. For example, flats may be cheaper than a house.

You may find these websites useful when looking for suitable privately rented accommodation: 

Once you have found a property that is affordable for you, the Council may be able to help you with upfront costs such as deposits and/or rent. If you are going through a letting agency you will be expected to pay reference/credit and admin fees.

Loan

One of the ways we can assist is through the local Black Squirrel Credit Union who can help with a loan to help cover the deposit or upfront rent.

If agreed, the amount borrowed is payable directly to the landlord or letting agent. The tenant makes regular affordable repayments to the credit union. There are no fees for setting up the loan. The loan repayments are also used to start your own savings account with the credit union.

Universal Credit

If you are on a low income or not in employment, you may be able to claim housing benefit or universal credit housing costs to help you pay the rent. These benefits are paid in arrears. Make sure you ask the landlord or letting agent if they will accept tenants who receive benefits before you pay any fees or sign any agreements as not all landlords do.

You will need to check the maximum you would be entitled to, to understand if the property would be affordable. The current Local Housing Allowance rates are below:*

Area 1 Bedroom*   1 Bedroom 2 Bedroom 3 Bedroom   4 Bedroom
Stevenage/North Herts £312.03  £564.06  £695.37 £859.53  £1100.82

You can also contact your local Job Centre who will be able to advise you on what your entitlement may be. 

Looking to rent out your property?

If you are looking for a tenant and would like assistance, the Council’s Private Rented Sector Officer can help find a potential match.

NHDC can help with securing a deposit and upfront rent, and assess whether your property is affordable for the tenant. In return for charging an affordable rent, the Private Rented Sector Officer can offer you and the tenant advice and assistance throughout the term of the tenancy and help you find tenants for the future.

If your tenant is claiming Universal Credit, see guidance below on how you can support your tenant.

Who should I contact?

If you require assistance or advice on how the Council can help, please call 01462 474000 and ask to speak to the Private Rented Sector Officer.