Private sector renting
The easiest way to find a new place to live can often be to rent somewhere from a private landlord.
Most landlords will sign a contract with you before you move in, will ensure that your property is properly maintained and that necessary repairs are carried, and will respect your rights as a tenant.
However there are always a few landlords who will not keep their part of the bargain, do not respect tenancy agreements, and are to be avoided.
In order to help you ensure that you get a good deal, and that you find the right place for you, Shelter provide advice on how to find a privately-rented home and what to look out for along the way.
Your Move has a First Time Renting guide on how to start looking, what's involved in renting, and all the way to when you move on to another place.
Citizens Advice also provide a guide on private rented accommodation.
Greater London Authority’s ‘Rogue Landlord and Agent Checker’ - allowing tenants to see if agents or landlords have property-related convictions.
Most local papers will include adverts for properties to rent, and you can contact letting agents, estate agents and property agents in your area.
You can also look at noticeboards in shop windows in the area you want to live in. If you see an advert with the words 'No DSS', this means that the landlord is not willing to take a tenant claiming benefits
Depending on your financial situation you may be able to claim Housing Benefit towards the cost of your rent. However you should be aware that some landlords do not like to rent out accommodation to tenants who will be relying on housing benefit to pay their rent.
If you would like to receive independent advice on housing, or on benefits, legal issues, accessing care and support, your rights as a carer, and a range of other issues, then you can contact Citizens Advice Westminster
Obtaining legal advice
If you think you need to take legal action in relation to a housing issue then you can get more information on our Obtaining legal advice page.
Stonewall Housing have helped thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people to find safe and secure homes.