Private renting

This is renting a property from a private landlord. It is often the quickest way of finding somewhere to live and may be the only option available to you if you want to live in Tower Hamlets.   

Lots of people choose to rent privately, for the following reasons: 

  • Long waiting times for council or housing association properties 
  • You can choose where you want to live and the right location for schools, jobs, transport links or local services 
  • Choice on much rent to pay 
  • Choice on what facilities you have (self-contained or shared) and a variety of types of homes available, e.g. apartments, houses with gardens 
  • Avoid temporary accommodation with shared facilities for an uncertain period of time 
  • Avoid furniture storage costs  
  • Easy to end a tenancy if you decide to move  


Listen to Terry’s story to hear about how renting privately was a great choice for him.


Finding a home 

The quickest way to find a private rented property is to ask friends and family or search online. You can also check local estate agents and newsagents. Renting from a landlord or letting agent will depend on your budget and what services and location you want.

You should think about whether you want your own place or to share with others.   

You can find private rented properties available for rent on websites such as RightmoveZooplaSpare RoomGumtreeOpen RentOn the MarketRoom BuddiesRoom Go

There are dedicated websites advertising private rented homes for people claiming benefits such as DSS-accepted and DSS Move.   


Learn about the Ali family and their journey to finding a new home.


Financial assistance


Living in London is expensive. To find out where you could afford to live use the  London Rents Map or House Price Calculator. The Local Housing Allowance tool helps you check how much benefit will cover local housing costs.  

If you’ve found a suitable private rented property that you can afford and are having problems with paying the deposit or upfront costs you may be able to apply for financial help.  

You can also get more details on how to find financial assistance to help you rent privately.


Advice about private renting


When you rent privately, you and your landlord both have certain obligations under your

tenancy agreement. Click play below to hear about your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, or for more on what to expect, see our private tenant FAQ.

For further information on renting privately, you can get advice from Shelter.


Private Renting: Rights and Responsibilities


Useful links