A Service To Support You
We work alongside landlords or agents to help you find suitable and affordable housing.
Our Tenant Offer
Ipswich LET work with those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness with the aim of securing suitable and affordable properties in the private rented sector.
If you are looking for a private rented home please contact our Housing Options team in the first instance on 01473 432000 or email@example.com.
Once a referral has been made, Ipswich LET may be able to help you.
What We Will Do
- Make you aware of properties in the private sector that would be affordable for you.
- Advise you on the agents that will accept the bond and Local Housing Allowance
- Call landlords and agents to negotiate deposit bonds on your behalf if you have found a property you like and it is affordable to you
- Help you arrange viewings for properties and follow up with the agents after the viewings
- Advise you on upfront fees, types of tenancy agreements in the private rented sector and the private rented letting process.
- Help you with the upfront costs needed to secure the private rented properties (subject to eligibility)
- Keep in regular contact throughout your tenancy to offer advice and support if needed
What we expect from you
- Complete a full income and expenditure verified with 3 months bank statements and declaring any debts you are currently paying off (your Housing Options Officer is likely to have already completed this with you) – This part of the process is very important for us and we would only match you to properties that are affordable for you
- Provide us your email address if you have one and stay in touch with us.
- Turn up for any viewings booked and update us as soon as you have had the viewing to let us know how it went.
- Spend time regularly looking for properties and keep us updated with your search.
Tips & Advice
Ipswich's Private Rented Market
Ipswich has a competitive private rented housing market but there are ways you can increase your chances of finding a suitable and affordable home.
Advicenow has a web page with helpful tips on how to impress a potential landlord and how to be a good tenant.
Where to find properties
- Spend time looking on places such as Right Move and, Zoopla for properties that you want to rent. If it is a room you are looking to rent there are bespoke sites such as spareroom.co.uk.
Visit your local letting agents
- You can register your interest, so they can put you on their waiting list and contact you as soon as they know a property is going to be available.
- These letting agents also have their own websites that you can register on, getting information on new properties as soon as they are listed.
Word of mouth
- Look and post on social media or ask friends, family and work colleagues if they know a landlord – speak to as many people as you can
- Some landlords choose not to advertise their properties through a letting agent. Check local noticeboards in supermarkets, shop windows and so on.
Types of properties
What sort of property do I need?
The type of property you need will largely depend on who lives with you but might also depend on your age, employment status or other factors
What size property do I need?
The housing benefit and universal credit rules state that 1 bedroom is required for each of the following:
- A couple or a single adult
- A person aged 16 or over
- 2 children aged 10-15 who are of the same sex
- 2 children under 10 regardless of their sex
You can use the Room Calculator to help with this.
Types of property available
- Lodgings – you have your own room (which should be lockable) but share the rest of the house with your landlord. Bills are usually included with the rent
- House-share – you have own room but share the rest of the property (which might include a communal living-room) with the other tenants. There will either be individual tenancy agreements, or one for the whole property.
- Bedsit – you have your own, lockable room but usually share other facilities (e.g. kitchen and bathroom) with the other people living in the property. Bills are often included with the rent
- Self-contained flats & houses – No shared spaces, or other tenants.
Knowing what's affordable
The private rented market in Ipswich is extremely busy which means prices can be quite high so please consider what is affordable for you when looking – If you are in receipt of Housing Benefit or Universal Credit there may be additional financial help to help meet the upfront costs needed to secure a property in the private rented market.
Some agents may ask for a guarantor if you are not employed or on a low income. A guarantor is someone who will be called on to pay your rent if you are ever unable to. Your guarantor will need to have a clear credit score and have an income. Every agent has different criteria for guarantors so check when you call or we can check for you.
You will also be expected to pay up front costs to secure the property – these will vary but are likely to include – a month’s rent in advance and a month to 5 weeks rent as a deposit.
Your Housing Options Officer will help you to complete an Income and Expenditure which will allow them to give you a maximum monthly figure that is affordable to you.
Help with paying rent
You may be entitled to some help with your rent costs – the amount of help that you receive will depend on the size of property you need, your income and family make-up. You can check your entitlement to benefits here or here.
Things to check
- Deposit protection. If the landlord asks for a deposit, check that it will be protected in a government approved scheme.
- You may be offered a deposit replacement product as an alternative to a cash deposit. Depending on the product, you may be required to pay a non-refundable fee up-front (often equivalent to one week’s rent) and/or a monthly payment for the duration of your tenancy. With most products you will still be responsible for the costs of any damages incurred at the end of the tenancy or required to pay an excess on any claim for damages or unpaid rent.
- A landlord or agent cannot require you to use a deposit replacement product but may allow it as an option without contravening the Tenant Fees Act. There are several different products available on the market.
- Length of tenancy. There is usually a fixed period of 6 or 12 months. If you want more security, you can ask for a longer fixed period.
- Children, smoking and pets. Check if there are any rules about them, as well as for other things such as keeping a bike, dealing with refuse and recycling.
- Bills. Check who is responsible for bills such as electricity, gas, water and council tax. You or the landlord? Usually the tenant pays for these.
- Fixtures and fittings. Check you are happy with them, as it is unlikely that you will be able to get them changed once you have moved in.
- Smoke alarms – and carbon monoxide detectors. If you have solid fuel appliances like wood burning stoves or open fires, check carbon monoxide detectors are provided. If not, your landlord must install them. They could save your life.
- Safety Check that the property is safe to live in.
- Fitness for human habitation. Your property must be safe, healthy and free from things that could cause serious harm.
Tenants Fees Act
The Tenants Fees Act relates to tenancies signed on or after 1 June 2019.
A landlord or agent cannot require you (or anyone acting on your behalf or guaranteeing your rent) to make certain payments in connection with a tenancy in England. They cannot require you to enter a contract with a third party for the provision for a service or for insurance or make a loan in connection with a tenancy.
The only payments in connection with a tenancy that you can be asked to make are:
- the rent
- a refundable tenancy deposit capped at no more than five weeks’ rent where your total annual rent is less than £50,000, or six weeks’ rent where your total annual rent is £50,000 or above
- a refundable holding deposit (to reserve a property) capped at no more than one week’s rent
- payments to change the tenancy when requested by the tenant, capped at £50, or reasonable costs incurred if higher
- payments associated with early termination of the tenancy, when requested by the tenant
- payments in respect of utilities, communication services, TV licence and council tax; and
- A default fee for late payment of rent and replacement of a lost key/security device giving access to the housing, where required under a tenancy agreement.
If the payment a landlord or agent is charging is not on this list it is not lawful, and a landlord or agent should not ask you to pay it.
Right to Rent
By law, all private sector landlords and letting agents must undertake a ‘right to rent check’ before they rent you a property.
They must check your immigration status and that of anyone aged 18 or over who will be living with you.
If a landlord or letting agency fails to do the checks, they may be liable for a fine of up to £3,000.
Everyone is required to have a ’right to rent check’, regardless of nationality or property type. Not cooperating with supplying evidence for ‘right to rent’ will likely end your chance of renting.
Being a good tenant
Pay your rent on time
- This is the most fundamental aspect of renting. If you want to continue to live in the property, you must pay your rent on time.
- If your landlord has to constantly chase you for the rent, you’ll quickly be viewed as unreliable and you’ll be in breach of your tenancy agreement. This could result in you getting yourself evicted from the property.
- Most future landlords will run credit checks on you as part of their tenancy screening process. As well as this, they’ll have sought a reference from your previous landlord. This is to verify that you can afford the property, as well as ensuring that you’ve never fallen into rent arrears in the past.
- Therefore, not paying your rent can create problems for future tenancies also.
Maintain the property to a satisfactory standard
- Keep any furnishings that come with the property clean and well-looked after. Report any significant issues as soon as they arise, so the landlord can arrange to get things fixed.
- This not only benefits you, but it also indicates to the landlord that you’re really looking after their property.
Be communicative and honest
- If you’re having financial troubles and are struggling to pay your rent, it’s advisable to talk to your landlord at your earliest opportunity rather than allowing the situation to escalate.
- Be honest and upfront about damage or issues with the property. The landlord will want to maintain the property as much as you want to live in a safe, secure home. If you want to change something, ask!
Report all damage immediately
- Normal wear and tear are inevitable in any home, but if there’s any accidental damage you should report it straight away.
- Nothing good will come from trying to hide any damage from your landlord. You’ll always be found out, and you could be penalised financially for it – or even evicted.
- It’s your sole responsibility to report all repairs that are required. You could find yourself liable for paying for them if you don’t report them and allow further damage to occur.
- The landlord can only respond to what they are aware of!
Allow the landlord access
- You have the right to live in your rented property without constant intrusion by the landlord.
- However, allowing the landlord access for maintenance and repairs will be necessary. This may require you to be present at the time.
Don’t break the terms of your tenancy
- There are many clauses to a tenancy, as well as provisions for how the property can and cannot be used. Read your tenancy and be aware of all such clauses, so you don’t face any issues further down the line.