Tenant's Toolkit

Finding a property

Some websites list properties where housing benefit will be accepted. Usually the way to identify landlords who will accept Housing Benefit payments is to put this into your search criteria. To do this, press on the ‘advance search’ button and look for ‘DSS accepted’ or ‘DSS OK’ or any similar term, using this search criteria will bring up properties that are rented out to tenants on Housing Benefit.

Private Renting

If you want to rent privately, consider availability and prices in the area you want to live in.

Private sector rents are often high and can increase year on year, so it’s important to budget for this. You can find housing to rent using local newspapers, websites or a letting agency.

Letting agencies may charge fees so make sure you’re clear about these before you use their services. They mustn’t charge you just for registering your name or giving you a list of properties.

The UK government has produced a "How to Rent" guide, available here, which landlords are now required to provide a copy of as part of your tenancy.

The Bromley Housing Options team provide advice and general assistance to anyone with a query or problem regarding housing issues or homelessness. To access their help you will need to complete the housing options assessment form here. Alternatively you can ring them to discuss your issue on 0208 461 7721 from 8.45am to 5pm. You will still need to complete the housing options form before an appointment date and time can be provided.

Property search websites

DSS Move is a property web portal connecting tenants claiming housing benefit with letting agents and landlords that say yes to DSS.

Home.co.uk can be clunky, but includes a lot of data, including how the asking price compares with others in the town and postcode.

OnTheMarket.com has shaken up the online home selling market, with a set of rules for members that includes restricting the number of portals that you can list your home on. It's new, but growing.

OpenRent: a Rental Community for Landlords & Tenants. From founding in 2012, to becoming the UK’s biggest letting agent in 2015, OpenRent has always had one mission: to make renting fairer, safer and cheaper for everyone.

PrimeLocation is another site listing upper and middle properties. It was recently relaunched and has an easy to use interface for searching through properties.

RightMove is the biggest and perhaps the best place to compare homes on the market. As well as a long list of properties, it shows them on a Google map so you can work out exactly where they are.

Spare Room is the UK's busiest flatshare site – look here if you are after a room in a shared house or flat.

Zoopla also lets you match up sold prices with old property ads, including pics, asking prices, descriptions and floor plans.

Tip: Registration with these sites isn’t required but may increase your chances of finding a property as new listings matching your criteria will be emailed directly to you.

Estate and Lettings Agents

You can visit an agent online or at their nearest office to view current listings and register your details to be made aware of new listings as they appear.

In popular areas some homes are rented before they appear online, so it's worth making the trip down to a few local estate agents so that you will hear as soon as a place hits their books.

A list of estate and lettings agents in Bromley can be found here.