Renting privately

If you are looking for a home in Trafford, private renting is the quickest option. However, with rent prices in Trafford being among the highest in Greater Manchester it’s important to make sure you can afford any property you are signing up for.

If you rent privately, you can still remain on the housing register and continue to bid for social housing.

What to consider

When looking to rent privately there are a few things to consider before you start your search for a home:

  • How much rent can you afford – work out a budget taking account of your household income and outgoings, or use an online rent affordability calculator, to figure out how much rent you can afford to pay.
  • Upfront costs – most private landlords will ask you to pay a deposit and rent in advance. The maximum deposit a landlord can ask for is equal to 5 weeks of the rent. There is no legal limit on how much rent in advance you can be asked to pay but this will usually be at least 1 months’ rent.
  • If you are homeless or at risk of homelessness, Trafford Bond Scheme may be able to help you with these upfront costs.
  • Where you want to live – you should think about the transport links, local facilities, and average rent prices within an area. The more flexible you are on area the easier it will be to find a property. Our Housing Bulletin gives updates on average rent prices across Trafford.
  • What type of property you need – generally, the bigger the property the more expensive it will be. If you are a single person, you might want to consider renting a room in a shared house as this will be a cheaper option.

How to find a property

Private rented properties are advertised online, in letting and estate agent offices, and in local newspapers.

The following websites may be helpful:

Some landlords will advertise their properties via social media. Although this can be a legitimate way to find private rented properties, you should be cautious of online scams. Action Fraud provide advice on how to protect yourself against online property scams.

What you’ll need

Most landlords and letting agents will carry out checks to make sure you’re a reliable tenant. They may ask to see the following documentation:

  • Passport or birth certificate and driving licence
  • Wage slips/benefit award letters
  • Bank statements
  • Employment contract or accounts if you are self-employed
  • References from your previous landlord and/or employer

You may also be subject to a credit check. Landlords and agents can only carry out a credit check with your permission.

If you have poor credit, you may be asked to pay a higher deposit or more rent in advance.

Private renting when in receipt of benefits

If you are in receipt of benefits or on a low income, it is worth seeking advice on what you are eligible to claim to help towards your rent.

You should check the Local Housing Allowance rates to find out the maximum entitlements.

Most private rented properties in Trafford are more expensive than the maximum entitlement, so you need to make sure you have enough income to make up the shortfall.

If you are struggling to afford the shortfall, you could apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment.

It is unlawful for any landlord or letting agent to discriminate against people who are in receipt of benefits. If you experience any discrimination when searching for properties, visit Shelter’s website for advice on what to do.

Some websites specifically advertise properties to those in receipt of benefits: