Looking for your new home

Looking for a new home can be frustrating and stressful, especially if you’re not sure where to go for help or you get a few knock backs from landlords along the way. Here are some ideas to help your search for a new home go as smoothly as possible.

The Bond Board are really good. They’ve been really helpful to me and they’ve really sorted me out. They’re not just an organisation, you’re not just a number, they care about you.


  • Ask The Bond Board for advice about Landlords and Lettings Agents that might let to people who are claiming benefits/on a low income.
  • If you will be claiming benefits to help with your rent, make sure you know how much you’ll get, so you don’t look at properties that are too expensive.
  • Read our tips below about where to look for properties and what to ask a landlord before the viewing.
  • Read our tips below about what to look out for when viewing a property.

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Top Tips for finding a private rented tenancy

Be prepared

  • Check with The Bond Board to find out about any landlords and letting agents who might accept a Bond Guarantee.
  • Make sure you know how much help with your rent you would get from Housing Benefit/Universal Credit. You’ll then know how much rent you can afford and won’t waste time viewing properties that are too expensive.
  • Think about which areas would be suitable for you to live in.
  • Be prepared to answer questions from landlords and letting agents about why you need to move and have The Bond Board contact details ready to give them.

Where to look for properties

Check with The Bond Board regularly to find out if we know of any properties that are available. We can arrange a meeting if you need help to look for a property.

In Rochdale, you can come to our free ‘Quid’s In’ coffee mornings every 2 weeks. We can help you to look for properties while you have a brew and a chat. Find out more here

  • Check websites like Rightmove and Zoopla, noticeboards in shops and supermarkets and adverts in local papers.
  • Ask around to find out if any of your friends or family know of any landlords with properties to rent.
  • You could let people know what you’re looking for on websites such as Facebook.
  • Call into Estate Agents and ask if they have any properties to let in your price range. Most Letting Agents want to meet you before arranging a viewing of the property and they will probably want to ask you some questions about your situation.

Asking about a property

Have this list of questions ready to ask the landlord about the property, before you arrange to view it:

  1. Where is the property?
  2. When is it available?
  3. How much is the rent?
  4. How many bedrooms does it have?
  5. Does it need any work doing to it?
  6. Do you accept people claiming Housing Benefit/Universal Credit?
  7. How much Bond do you want?
  8. Would I need to pay rent in advance?
  9. Do you accept Bond Guarantees from The Bond Board?

You might also have some of your own questions.

  • You may find a landlord who hasn’t heard of The Bond Board. If they seem interested, ask if it would be ok for us to ring them on your behalf and give us the details. We can explain what we do and try to get you a viewing.
  • Be prepared for some knock-backs. Sometimes, landlords and agents won’t let to people claiming benefits or without rent in advance. Unfortunately, can’t always to change their minds. Don’t give up your search if you do get a refusal, be positive and carrying on looking.

Make a good impression

  • If you are meeting landlords and letting agents try to make a good impression. Arrive on time, look as clean and smart as possible and be polite, even if they say no. If you arrange to view a property and can’t make it, let the landlord or agent know in plenty of time. Another property might become available with the same agent or landlord, so it is a good idea to keep on good terms with them.
  • If you have any I.D, take it with you to any viewings to show the landlord/Letting Agent. Landlords need to check this by law before they can let a property to you. If you don’t have any ID, get advice from The Bond Board.

Things to look out for when viewing a property

  • Look at the outside of the property. Are there any broken windows, loose/missing roof tiles, broken or leaking gutters and pipes?
  • Does the inside of the property look well cared for with a decent kitchen and bathroom?
  • Does the property look, feel or smell damp? (Look for stains and mould on the walls and ceilings, especially behind radiators or kitchen appliances, and walls that feel wet).
  •  How is the property heated? Is there central heating?
  •  Do the wiring and electric sockets look modern (check for loose sockets)
  •  Turn on the taps-are they working? Is the water hot?
  •  Flush the toilet to check it works and is not blocked.
  •  Is there enough natural and artificial light?
  •  Has the landlord got a current Gas Safety Certificate and Energy Performance Certificate?
  •  Could you easily escape from the property if there was a fire and are there smoke alarms fitted on each floor?
  • Check the external doors and locks to make sure the property is secure.
  • Ask about any furniture or white goods like cookers and fridges you see in the property. Are they part of the let or will the landlord be removing them?
  • Does the landlord seem approachable, friendly and professional? This can be hard to judge during a viewing, but if you get a sense that there might be a problem, discuss it with The Bond Board before accepting the property.

Don’t sign a tenancy agreement at the viewing

Never sign a tenancy agreement at the viewing. Take some time to think about it and contact The Bond Board first. We won’t be able to provide a Bond Guarantee if you have already signed a tenancy agreement. If you do decide to take the property, let us know. The Bond Board will need to speak to the landlord and agree everything before you sign-up and move in.

Kevin's Homeless Story


Come along to our free ‘Quid’s In’ coffee mornings every fortnight in Rochdale town centre. Get help with looking for a home or any problems with your private rented tenancy and have a free brew (or two!) with us.

Our coffee mornings are free, friendly and informal. Even if you don’t need advice, you can still come along if you just fancy a chat.


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