Find a home to rent with a private landlord 

How to find a home to rent with a private landlord, why this may be the best option for you, and how we can help

Renting from a private landlord

Finding a home that you can afford to rent doesn’t have to mean finding a council or housing association property. There are many properties in Bristol which are available to rent from a private landlord.

A private landlord is someone who owns one or more properties that they rent out to tenants. 

Why rent with a private landlord

There are many advantages to renting privately:

  • There are no waiting lists, so you’ll be able to move in quickly
  • You can choose where you live in the city, and you can easily move to a different area if you want
  • There are many different types of property available, from one-bedroom studio flats to houses big enough for large families
  • The properties will usually be well decorated and carpeted; this is often not the case with social housing.
  • The properties often come with a fridge, freezer and washing machine
  • If you’re on a low income, you may be entitled to Housing Benefit which will cover some or all of your rent

Where to find a property

You can find properties to rent by:

  • searching for local letting agencies online
  • checking websites, such as:
     
  • checking local newspapers
  • speaking to the accommodation offices at UWE or Bristol University, if you’re a student

View the property

Once you find a suitable property, you’ll need to go and have a look at it.

It’s a good idea to take a list of things to check so you don’t forget about anything when you’re there.

Check the property

Be careful as some people illegally rent out their council home.

You can use the ILATCH service to check that the property isn’t council owned. Using ILATCH is free and easy to use. Just enter your postcode and door number to check the property.

If you take out a tenancy in an illegally sublet council home you might not be able to stay in the property. It’ll also be difficult for you to get your deposit back from the landlord.

We can help

We can help you find a home with a private landlord if you're homeless or threatened with homelessness.

We can: 

  • give you advice on how to look for a property
  • talk to a potential landlord on your behalf 
  • help you prepare for your appointment with the landlord to give you a better chance of getting a property

In some cases, we can:

  • offer financial help with our deposit bond scheme, an interest free loan with repayment terms of up to five years 
  • help with rent in advance and estate agency fees

What you can do now

If you'd like more advice, email private.renting@bristol.gov.uk or call 0117 352 6888.

If you want to be considered for financial help you’ll need to be referred by a Housing Advisor. They will check to see if you qualify for the deposit bond scheme. 

Homes to rent for older and vulnerable people

There are a number of housing options available to you if you’re an older or vulnerable person.

These include supported and extra care housing.