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If you are not able to remain in your home then you will need to look for somewhere else to stay. The best option will often be with family or friends, or in the private rented sector.

You need to be realistic about what to expect. In some areas of the country it is easy to find affordable accommodation of all types to rent, but in London and the south east there may be very little available within your price range.

Ways to find a private rented home

Search online

Many landlords and letting agencies advertise online. Popular websites that advertise house shares and homes to rent include Rightmove, Zoopla, Spareroom and Gumtree, though there are many others. You can also search for local websites and forums that advertise flats, houses or room to rent. You can use the internet for free at a City of London library.

Use a letting agent

You can use a letting agency to help you find a home to rent. You usually need to register with a letting agency before they offer you a property. All letting agents must be members of a letting agent redress scheme. You can complain to a redress scheme about problems with a letting agent.

Check newspapers

Check local newspapers and local magazines. Some have sections advertising houses or flats to rent or share.

Check locally

Check noticeboards in community centres, libraries, supermarkets, bookshops and newsagents. These often have adverts for rooms or houses to rent. They are more likely to be put there by landlords themselves, rather than letting agents.

Advertise that you need a place to rent

You could advertise that you're looking for a place to rent. In your advert, describe the type of place you want, where you'd like to live and how much rent you can afford. Use free websites such as Spareroom or Gumtree and ask in local shops or community centres if you can put an advert on their noticeboards. If you use social media, let your contacts know you are looking for a place. Ask you family, friends or the people you work with if they know anyone who is renting out a room or a flat.

Check landlord accreditation schemes

Find out if landlords are members of a landlord accreditation scheme. Members of accreditation schemes sign up to a code of conduct to keep their properties safe and in a satisfactory state of repair. Check the National Landlords Association register for accredited landlords in your area.

How to rent guide

The government have published a How to rent guide for tenants and landlords in the private rented sector to help them understand their rights and responsibilities. It provides a checklist and more detailed information on each stage of the process.

Council and housing association homes

These are available through the City of London choice-based lettings scheme. You need to join the housing register to bid for properties in the scheme. There is a long wait for social housing, so if you need somewhere to live now you must look at other options, particularly privately rented accommodation.

Nightshelters and emergency hostels

You may be able to find emergency accommodation in a hostel or nightshelter if you're single and homeless with nowhere to sleep tonight. The Shelter website contains information on nightshelters and emergency hostels that might be available.


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