Private Rental

Topic last updated February 2020

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Finding available property

Eligibility

Affordability

Support with Housing Costs

Deposit Protection

Help with Deposit

 

Finding available property

The following resources may be of use to a customer seeking private rented accommodation:

 

 

A range of search websites are available here.

Eligibility

Private landlords are now required to check that prospective tenants have the 'Right to Rent' if they are persons from abroad. Further information is available on the Home-Link site, including a government leaflet.

Affordability

Link to Money Advice Service's 'How much rent can you afford?

 

As rents in Cambridge are higher than surrounding areas, advise applicants to look in areas outside of Cambridge City where rents are more affordable.

 

The table below shows the difference between average city rents and the LHA rate (as at April 2020):

 

 

Monthly Local Housing Allowance amounts vs Average rents

Type of property

Monthly amount

Average rents in City

Shared accommodation

£354.86

£508

One-bedroom self-contained

£589.29

£934 (782 for a studio)

Two-bedroom self-contained

£677.73

£1190

Three-bedroom self-contained

£787.58

£1377

Four-bedroom self-contained

£1,050.53

 

A printable version is here.

This link also shows Government defined 30th percentile of private rents, the cheapest 30th percent of homes. Below this is the difference between the lowest 30% of rents and the LHA rate. So a family renting a 2 bed home will receive £39.22 less than the lowest 30th percentile rent:

 

 

Shared

1 Bed

2 Bed

3 Bed

4 Bed

30th Percentile

£97.00

£178.36

£195.62

£218.63

£299.18

Difference to pay above LHA per week

£15.11

£42.37

£39.22

£36.88

£56.75

Lettings Agents usually expect applicants to spend no more than 40% of their gross income on rent.

When advising on affordability, you may find the detailed information provided by the Association of Housing Advice Services (AHAS), about the expected costs of daily living, useful.

Support with Housing Costs

Customers can find out if they are eligible for Local Housing Allowance to support their housing costs by using the benefits entlement calculator at http://www.cambridge.entitledto.co.uk/. However, the Local Housing Allowance levels are based on cheapest rental figures in a larger area than just Cambridge City centre, meaning that applicants who are dependent upon LHA may need to consider moving out of the City area.

i_black.jpgPlease note that from August 2017, move on to private rented accommodation can be assisted by HB+ in suitable cases.

Deposit Protection

Housing Advice Service users - search on Tenancy Deposit Protection (exact phrase) to find information in the National Resources section. There's also a leaflet here.

Help with Deposit

Click here for information about eligibility for the Access Scheme, which provides guarantees to landlords in lieu of a Tenancy Deposit.