If you are looking to rent privately then there are agents that specialise in renting out properties for landlords. Many agents will specialise in different types of housing, so if you are after a home in a specific location you may need to contact a number of agents to find what you are after.
We would encourage you to get references as this will provide reassurance to the prospective landlord. Remember in some areas there could be strong competition for properties and a history of rent arrears will not be in your favour.
Our Tenant Pack contains useful information about renting from a private landlord. We advise you to inspect the property thoroughly and don't be frightened of asking searching questions about recent repairs. Check for smoke alarms and that the property is in a reasonable state of repair. The Landlord should provide a Gas Certificate for any appliances before the tenancy starts and please ask to see the Energy Performance Certificate as this will give you a guide as to how much the property will cost to heat. As energy prices increase this will be increasingly important and something you need to factor in. See these Top Tips for Tenants.
The Government has produced an updated guide for tenants on how to rent safely. View the guide.